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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Dr. K's Cure All Soup - Thank you Amitabul

Yesterday I started feeling under the weather. I woke up feeling really sluggish and had a sore throat. All I craved was some good soup with a hearty noodle. Dan made a trip over to our favorite Korean and Vegan place, Amitabul. To our disappointment, it was closed. I guess they are closed on Sundays and Mondays.  I settled for a veggie noodle bowl from WholeFoods. Now I am not vegetarian or vegan for that matter. But I do respect anyone who is. I simply love vegetables and eating to feed the soul.

Upon waking this morning, my first thought was Amitabul. I woke up feeling pretty awful. I breastfed Zoe, made coffee, showered and got ready for work. We hit up Amitabul on the way and boy was I happy!!!!

We tried the dumplings today. They were amazing!!!! So light and delicious. Zoe loooooved them too!!!

I am not a big fan of spicy food. I know I know, what are we doing at a Korean place than? Well you can ask for mild and that's what I did.

I ordered what they call Dr. K's Cure All Noodle Soup - full of seaweed, tofu, mushrooms, hearty and healthy veggies and whole wheat noodles. It was like a warm hug to my throat. I literally drank the stock after to savor the amazing soup until the last drop hit my tongue. I really did feel a lot better!!!

If you live in Chicago, you have to check this place out!!! Especially if you are not used to vegan, vegetarian food - this is a great place to try something full of nutrition, health and most importantly......flavor!!

http://www.amitabulvegan.com/

Monday, December 27, 2010

2011 - My hopes, dreams and wishes for the New Year

I've been thinking lately what I would like to accomplish in the new year.  Everyone makes resolutions and mine are probably no different than most.  So here are a few that I think are important to me.....

1. Get in shape - I am not happy with my weight or my health. Since Zoe's birth, I have gained weight and have really slacked off on taking good care of myself. I am not eating as well as I should and have been consuming waaaay too much sugar lately. I am hypoglycemic and this is just foolish of me. 

We took our first family portrait last week and when I saw myself, I was shocked and saddened. What happened to me? I was really unhappy with the way I looked and felt, too.

I am so careful to teach Zoe healthy eating habits and living a healthy life but living what I preach would be the best way to show her.

2. Develop my confidence and do more photography projects. I love taking pictures!! I have to admit that I have had no inspiration lately to create. I don't know if it's my confidence, feeling depressed and blah, lack of time.....what ever it is, I need to get back into what I love.  I take a million snapshots of Zoe. Anyone that sees my facebook page can attest. But, i need to challenge myself and develop new skills as a photgrapher.

3. Get organized and declutter. My apartment can very well look like an episode of hoarders. Ok maybe it's not that bad but it is not where I want to be. We share a tiny 1 bedroom apartment with our daughter and cat. To say we have clutter, is an understatement. There is much organization and improvement to be made. I know that I can do better. Yes, we need bigger space as Zoe grows but for now I need to tackle our current space. I need more positive, Zen energy flowing through our space. 

4. Figure out my financial path and get more debt down. I don't even want to type more than I have to about my debt. It's out of control and suffocating me. I need to spend less and pay down this beast.

Ok so those are my top 4. I know that not everything will change overnight, but I do need to accomplish these goals in the near future.  I am motivated and feeling postive about the changes that I need to make.

Last Week of 2010

So Christmas festivities are officially over and 2011 is right around the corner....wow where did this year go?!

I have to say that I really enjoyed 2010. I got to see Zoe grow from a newborn beautiful baby to a funny and active toddler.  I had so much fun taking her to museums, parks, and zoos.  I mastered breastfeeding, diapering, sling wearing.....not showering for days or sleeping for that matter. It's been a great ride so far!!!

So now to 2011.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Pinata 101 - How to make a Pinata

Hey So for Zoe's birthday, I really wanted to make her a cute Piñata. I wanted to share how it was made.

I purchased all the supplies at the Dollar Store and the candy and stuff at CVS, WholeFoods, Marshalls.

What you need:


  • Candy & Filling - I made a mix of Organic Lollipops, Candy bars, Pixie sticks(Crack for Kids), Stickers, Dora Towel that grow with water
  • Balloon - I used a Helium Balloon because I like the size and shape much better than a traditional balloon $1
  • Newspaper, Tissue Paper, Junk Mail - I used old paper ads - which is a good way to recycle and tissue paper that was used to wrap some glass jars.
  • Flour - $.50
  • Water


1.  Tear Paper into two inch wide long strips - I used a paper slicer to speed up the process.

2.  Mix flour and water together until you get a runny paste consistency. I started with a cup of flour and 2 cups of water and kept adding until it was just right. You want to be able to dip the paper into the paste and wipe off excess paste by running between your fingers.


   

   3. Start covering the balloon in strips. I slightly overlapped each strip to make sure it was really covered. Cover 1 layer and let dry.
Since my balloon was Helium and came with a string, it was easy to hang the balloon to dry.  You want to dry 24 hours between each layer. I hung the balloon on a shower rod and put a fan blowing on it for a few hours to speed up the process. So I probably waited 6 hours between layers.



  4.  Repeat process. I used old tissue paper that was used to wrap some jars that I had purchased. It gives you a more even look and a nice & neutral look.

Laugh at baby playing with crepe paper......check

  5.  Third & Final Layer - dried and ready to go.

  6.  I pierced the balloon and removed but I did wish that I would have waited for that part because it would have been easier to apply the petals and keep from crinkling my design.

  7.  Cut out a hole big enough to insert candy. FYI: My candy was super heavy so I used duck tape inside to reinforce around where the string will be.
The hole def didn't need to be this large but I did cover it once I filled it with the candy.

  8.  Decorate!!! You can paint it, use crepe paper, fabric, glitter, feathers, whatever your little heart desires to make this puppy shine. I use google often for inspiration.

  9.  After decorating, poke out two holes and hang using rope. Again I did reinforce the inside where the holes and string would be to make sure the Piñata would hold up.

This is the photo that inspired my yellow flower design.

I cut out petals out of crape paper and glued them on using stick glue to make a flower design or a big bird body as my husband called it.



This was a lot of fun and only cost me $2 plus candy. 

Zoe got to swat at it a few times before the bigger kids destroyed it. 

Planning Zoe's Party

So Zoe, my little baby, is turning one December 11 and I am beginning planning her fiesta!! It's really exciting because I want to make it a special 1st birthday.  The theme is flowers and butterflies. The colors are pinks, oranges, purple and yellows. Very pretty and pastel :)

Here is the Invitation that I ordered. I use Tiny Prints Tinyprints.com for all her invites. They come out really cute and they always use recycled paper. I sent them out already and am now awaiting the rsvp's.

Merry Christmas!!!

Merry Christmas!!! We woke up to a white snowy Christmas day!!!

So we had a nice Christmas Eve Day yesterday. We took Zoe sledding at the Forest Preserve on Milwaukee & Devon, Chicago.  I took her down once and so did Dan. She didn't look scared at all but very serious lol.

She did love seeing all the kids laughing and sledding down the hill. We gave her a ride on the sled as well and she loved it!!!

It was also her first time playing in the snow. She crawled and scooted around.

I went down the hill about 3 times by myself and man I felt like a kid again :)

Great time and a nice start to our Family Tradition. We will go sledding every year!

In the evening we went to my mom's and celebrated with a traditional Polish Christmas Eve dinner. Fish, Beet Broth with Mushroom Ears, Polish Pierogi and other goodies. We all found money under our place setting and exchanged Wafers with wishes of good fortune and health. Zoe enjoyed the wafers and especially the beet salad.

After opening gifts we went to celebrate the evening with Dan's mom and siblings.  We had only an hour to spend due to Dan needing to take a nap before working that evening.(we works overnight at a hotel) We opened gifts and shared some laughs. Zoe especially enjoyed time with her cousins.

Today we will be celebrating at Dan's Dad's House after I am off work.

Merry Christmas!!!