Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'm Loving

Long flowy tops, tights and cute shoes.

Not sure why it looks like I have a pregnant pouch in the second picture. I assure you I'm not.

Tunic: Indiska, Stockholm. My favorite store ever I think.

Tights: jcrew

Shoes:Forever 21.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Babysitting swap is the greatest invention Ever!

A few times a friend who has a daughter two months older than Jasper and I have done a babysitting swap. She takes J for a few hours, and t hen I will take E for a few hours. Kids get a play date and these mamma's get some alone time. Perfect right?

It's especially perfect for our two families because neither of us have our families living in the same state, and neither of us trust anyone to watch our kids!

Saturday night Jasper had his FIRST sleep over!! And also his first boy-girl sleep over.. Drew dropped Jasper off around 5, giving me time to get ready for our date on my own. I actually had so much fun just getting ready alone. I felt like I was back in high school or college where I would blast my music and have a dance party while drinking wine and getting ready. All of that totally happened when he was away.

Drew picked me up for our date, and we headed to an AMAZING Greek restaurant about 20 min. away that we had heard so much about. I wish I hadn't inhaled the food right when it came so I could have shared pictures- but I had such a fun night that I didn't take a SINGLE picture. Luckily my friend took a few of later on in the evening.

After a long dinner of pita served roasted garlic/feta spread(OMG mouth watering even THINKING about this) gyros, lamb and grilled veggies and some wine we headed to a dueling piano bar down town Denver to meet up with some friends.

We never go out down town, and it might not really be my scene, but I'm So glad we went. It ended up being a ton of fun.

After a couple of drinks my husband thought it would be a good idea to get us girls a big fish bowl. It tasted SOO good I drank so much of fun, and it barely tasted like there was any alcohol in there. But Drew said the girl making it stood there dumping three bottles of liquor in there before adding some sprite..so turns out there was a Lot in there. Which explains why I look the way I do in the last picture.

After the piano bar we stopped at a little irish pub just a few blocks away from our house to play some pool.

All in all Such a fun night! But yesterday? Holy hangover. I haven't gotten a hang over in so long, that I kind of forgot what it was like. Not so much fun. But by the time our friends brought Jasper to us by 11 Drew had gotten us some greasy breakfast and all was right with the world again.

**Jasper had such a good time during his sleep over he is already talking about when E comes and stays the night with us in two weeks to give her parents a night alone. He was staying in the guest room next to E's room and she climbed out of her bed and snuck into his bed. This will go down in the books as the first time a girl snuck into his room also..but I'm sure not the last.. Jasper Never gets out of his big boy bed- I don't think he even knows it's possible so he started yelling " Maaccheeelllle, E is out of her bed!!" what a little tattle tale! **

Hope everyone had as wonderful weekend as we did!

Friday, March 25, 2011

What We Ate + Weekly Organic Meal

I used to post organic meals, and I figured now was a good time to bring them back.

I used I would say 90% organic ingredients for all meals, so from time to time there might be an ingredient that isn't organic.

 From this week you can probably tell we are big fans of Italian food in this house. Could be from my Italian grandparents? When I was pregnant I had to eat macaroni with butter, parmesan cheese and pepper almost Every day. For some odd reason Jasper has developed the love of this simple dish as well. We like to throw in some organic cherry tomatoes as well or sometimes fried zuccini- SO delish. Added in some buttered croissants with cheese.

 Pizza. With Veggies and pepperoni Enough said.

Lately Jasper and I have been making fresh fruit smoothies almost every morning. It's SUCH a great way to start off the day! But Wed. morning we got busy and I never made us our smoothies so Jasper asked for it for lunch. NO problem!  Along with the blueberry/banana/raspberry smoothie we also had apple sauce, carrots, cucumber slices, warm pita, hummus and pita chips.

Anyone have some simple, healthy, easy lunch tips?

And now for the Weekly Organic Meal

I saw a recipe similar to this a while ago, and threw this together Wednesday night. And trust me. It was Orgasmic. Everyone needs to go and  TRY THIS.

Cherry Tomatoes
Borsin Cheese
Parmesan Cheese

Boil pasta
Towards the end add in the asparagus for about 2 min.

While Pasta is boiling- throw in chopped up garlic in some oil and saute it.

After pasta and asparagus is done, drain and put into garlic. Keep on heat for a few minutes mixing the garlic, pasta, and asparagus. Add in borsin, parmesan and tomatoes. Keep stirring for a minute on heat.

After I had plated the food I decided to throw some more borsin cheese on because it's SO FREAKIN GOOD!


Needless to say Everyone asked for seconds of this.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Are they really THAT bad?

Twice in the past week I have had little Asian ladies ask me if they can wax my eye brows.

Yes once I was getting my nails done and the other time scheduling my Brazilian wax, but I don't think they are that bad. Sure they might need a few hairs plucked here and there, they always do. But are they so bad that TWO people practically beg me to let them wax me?

And here's the thing. I don't EVER get my eye brows waxed. I'm way to terrified I'll end up either no eye brows or those SUPER thin ones with like 4 pieces of hair. If that's your thing, that's cool, but I'm a hairy 50% Italian. I shed more hair in a day than some people have on their head. Me with super thin eyebrows? Would Not be a pretty sight. So I guess I'll keep turning down those wanting to wax my eye brows, even if they think it looks like i have two large caterpillars over my eyes.
This shirt is becoming on of my favorites. 

 I was just saying how I wished my hair would grow and that I was regretting cutting it, and then I straigthened it for the first time in months and it made me realize it IS growing.

Please excuse my messy room AND the whole I put in the wall.. The rest of the house is pretty much unpacked but my bedroom is always last to get anything done to it.

Shirt and Pants both from Sweden, different trips
Shoes, Forever 21

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Magic Pusses

Or Magic Kisses (Puss is Kiss in Swedish)

For a while we had this 'problem' where Jasper wants kissed all the time. I know that doesn't like a problem at all, and 99% of the time it isn't. There's nothing I love more than getting and giving kisses to Jasper. But it became a problem when it was time for a nap and he would be yelling from his room EVERY MINUTE saying " MOOOOOOOOM I wiped my pusses off, I need more" And this would go on every few minutes for 30-40 minutes before he finally fell asleep.

So I came up with a solution. Magic Pusses. Magic kisses start at the mouth and go counter clockwise, stopping every inch to give a puss. Magic pusses end with a puss on the nose. Then we test to see if the magic pusses wife off, they never do! They last for an entire nap time without ever wiping off. And at bed time we throw in some extra kisses so they last all night.

Jasper now goes to sleep faster, without feeling like mom won't come in to give him kisses when he asks for them.  Sometimes it's the little things that makes being a mom oh so magical.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Our St. Patty's day

I actually forgot it was St. Patricks day on Thursday when I woke up, probably because we did the parade thing and all last Sat. so I kinda thought it had come and gone. Also? St. Patricks day was NOT a big holiday in the Larsson family growing up. Why do you ask? Well because we were in SWEDEN. I'd never even heard of St. Patricks day till 4th grade when we moved to the US. My mom is American so I guess we could have celebrated it in Sweden if she had wanted us to. We celebrate Fourth of July there every year even though obviously the rest of Sweden was not. But my mom is Italian. My I have relatives with names Joseppe and Salvatore (grandpa and uncle) so St. Patty's day was obviously not a big deal in her household growing up either.

Anyway after seeing the dozens of tweets and FB updates I realized I better dress Jasper in green. I thought Jasper owned a TON of green, I mean he's a boy, but turns out I don't really like green. He had a total of 3 green shirts in there. I prefer him in blue's, grey's, blacks, even yellow (and he does own a pink and purple shirt or two as well (gasp)) but green? Not so much.

Anyway found him a green shirt and we headed out the door for a playdate at a library with some friends. It was story time and they did a cute leprechaun story and craft and the kids all got to hide the bags they made and hope a treasure was put in there during story time. And there was. All the other kids (consisted of kids 2-6ish) believed leprechauns had come during story time. My kid? Says " thanks for putting a surprise in my bag" to the lady as we leave. Guess she didn't fool him!

(hiding his bag for the leprechaun to put a treasure in, also I believe he's picking a wedgie here)

After story time we headed to Jasper's Little Gym class, where I proceeded to listen to the moms gossip about EVERYONE's kid in there. It was so freakin annoying. These ladies had to be close to 40 and they had nothing to do but talk shit? Sad.

 After Little Gym we ran to McDonald's to grab J some lunch ant a shamrock shake. Mamma might have stolen some of it. And it was delish.

I honestly don't know how I pulled together TWO green outfits this week. I wore the two green dresses I have, possibly the only two green things in my entire closet.

Boots Forever 21
Cardigan I Think Forever 21
Dress Vera Moda, Karlstad Sweden I bought 2 years ago It's super comfy, not sure why I haven't worn it in at least a year. Probably because I don't really like green.

As I was writing this I remember St. Patty's day from freshman year in college. It ended with Drew and I passing out in our friends parent's bedroom (they were away for spring break) and I woke up to Drew PEEING on me. Yep True story. 5 years later I married him.

What We Ate

I'm always running out of fun, healthy (ish) lunches for Jasper and I so I thought I would start posting some of the simple meals that we come up with.

We now only buy organic groceries so we eat all organic at home, but we will still indulge in the occasional McDonald's.

Monday I was at the doctors getting my strep confirmed and some meds so no lunch was made for jasper. Drew took him out to lunch and then brought me Panera broc. cheese soup. My absolute favorite.

Tuesday Jasper asked for pasta- so pasta w sauce and garlic bread made from italian bread.

Wednesday we made bagel sandwiches. One of our favorites. Cream cheese, sliced cheese ( i Refuse to eat 'american cheese' slices, those gross waxy things, so I buy a huge block of organic cheese and slice it myself) yellow pepper and cucumber. So delish.

Thursday is our little gym day. It's farther away now from where we live, about 30 min. but we are going to finish up the semester. Class is from 11:45 to 12:45 so I usually grab some Sonics for Jasper to eat in the car so he doesn't fall asleep in the car and comes home ready for a nap. We got Mcdonald's Thurs. instead of Sonics so Jasper (and mamma) could get shamrock shakes.

Friday for lunch we made quesadillas. We eat these at least once a week. So simple and easy and I can throw a bunch of veggies in there and feel better about eating all that cheese. I have a huge thing of spinach I bought to make a quiche so we are trying to so I threw some of that in for the first time, along with a yellow pepper and it was great! Jasper loved it as well.
I can't wait till the farmers market in our neighborhood opens so Jasper and I can walk there and get fresh fruits and veggies to add to our lunches!

Anyone have any simple, tasty and healthy lunch recipes?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Guess everyone wants a shamrock hake

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Stuff My Kid Says

My kid says crazy things. I'd love to hear what yours say!

This happened last week as Jasper's karate class. 

Cute 5 year old girl walks in, new to class, wearing a tutu and tennis shoes. Adorable. 

Jasper says loudly: Mamma, that little girl (she was about 4 inches taller than him) is preeeeetty.

Mother of the little girl: Aw that's sweet, say thank you.

Jasper thinking the mom was thanking him replies

No, not you. The little girl is pretty. Not the mamma. 

Me? Horrified. Uhm..Jasper, that's not very nice to say. 

The other mom? Laughing hysterically. ' Oh its okay, no filter at this age' 

I can't even be mad at him, he was just being honest. He was clarifying to the mom that he was calling her daughter pretty, and not her. 

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Top Two Tuesday: Random facts about you

I haven't participated in Taylor's top two in a while but I love this weeks topic so I had to join in.

1. I've lived in 19 different houses/condos in my 24.5 years of life. And what's crazy is that during those 19 moves I spent 9 years living in the same house. Meaning I really moved 18 times 14 years. I'll break it down for you skeptics. 19 moves. 4 states. three continents. 24 years.

1. Born in Florida.
2. Moved to the Virgin Islands when I was 2 months old.
3. Moved to South Carolina at around 12 months.
4. Moved back down to Florida 6 months later.
5. Moved to Stockholm, Sweden when I was 3.
6. Lived in a house for a year, moved to another house there for a year.
7. Moved to Ljusdal, Sweden where I would 'live' in the same house 7 years.
8. But during this time we went to Bali, Indonesia for 6 months.
9. Spent another year or so in Ljusdal- and then back to Bali, to a different house for another 6 months.
10. Moved to Perry, IA- would spend the rest of Elem. school- Jr. high and high school in this same country house. (My mom still lives in that house)
11. Moved 2 hours away to attend Univ. of Northern Iowa after graduation. 10th floor Dancer hall!
12. After a semester decided to move out to CO and wait to be accepted there. Lived w/ brother and sister in law in Boulder for this semester.
13. Moved to Denver to attend Denver University. 10 floor in a dorm again!
14. Found out during Christmas break that I was pregnant- we moved back to IA and moved back up to Cedar Falls to attend Univ. of Northern Iowa AGAIN. This time lived in married student housing. Though not married.
15. Spent the semester there then back to my moms for the summer. Jasper was born in August, and by September we were back out to Denver (though in the suburbs this time) for Drew to start the fall semester.
16. Lived there for 15 months- then moved to an apartment in Karlstad, Sweden. There for a semester- 7 months.
17. Rented a house in the Denver suburbs again after we got back from Sweden.
18. Lived there for 8 months- then our landlords daughter had to move out of her fiances house because he tried to kill her, so she needed to move into the house. Since I knew her and was sort of friends with her we agreed to move out before our lease was up. So back to a condo for a year.
19. Brings me to Now. Renting a teeny house in Denver.

I have no doubt we will be moving again in a year. To something bigger. And after that? HOpefully an international move again. You could say that I've gotten good at packing/unpacking.

Number 2.
I'm the middle child of 5 but don't think I have a middle child personality.

*Throwing an extra in there. Every male in my family are in the food business. My dad is an executive chef who travels the world a LOT- I'm used to getting emails saying "Just leaving for Turkey" or "At the Rome airport" etc. Kind of jealous. And by kind of I mean Really.

My oldest brother went to culinary school in Boulder and spent the last part of school cooking in France. Again, jealous. He is now a sous chef.

Other older brother also a cook. And now it's looking like my youngest brother also has a talent for cooking as well. He has been working with my brother on weekends and now that he's graduating he is considering going to work in Norway with my dad doing some cooking.

My sister and I are the only ones in the fam that aren't amazing chefs.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Our weekend in pictures

Thursday night Jasper and I met Drew at the Cherry Cricket to grab a burger and meet a friend of Drew's that we hadn't met. He's from Sweden so it was fun to just sit there and speak Swedish with someone. Bonus- their burgers were ranked 3rd in the nation for best burgers. So I ended up breaking my week and a half no meat streak and ordered a burger. They have a bunch of different random stuff you can put on burgers ( like peanut butter, sour cream, salsa, egg etc) I had mine with cream cheese and it was amaaaazing. Jasper also did surprisingly well even though it was past his bed time.

Our weekend started early on Friday because Drew was actually home by 545, instead of the usual 7 or 7:30. It's SO nice living 2 blocks from Drew's work!!

When Drew got home we took a walk to whole foods (also 2 blocks away) to get stuff to make a pizza.

Cheese, pepperoni and orange pepper! 
After J went to bed we had a nice relaxing moving evening.

Saturday we got up and got dressed quickly and headed downtown for the St. Patricks Day parade. I was actually surprised by the amount of drunk people by 9:30 AM.

We found a little cafe and grabbed some window seats because it was still pretty chilly so we enjoyed our coffee and bagels while waiting for the parade to start.
When the parade got to us we headed outside to watch. For the record I WAS wearing a green dress under the cardigan.  The parade was actually pretty long. I think over an hour? We were on the shaded side of the street so it was chilly. Luckily mamma had thought to brought a blanket ahead for Jasper.
After the parade the boys headed back to play at the park and nap and I headed for some much needed ALONE time. I went and got a pedicure and a manicure. I originally had asked a friend to come with, but she couldn't and as bad as it sounds, I'm glad. I enjoyed that alone time SO much. I just sat there sipping my starbucks and flipping through people magazines. It was Amazing. I ended up getting the 'spa' pedicure and it was over an hour long and included parafine hot wax, and a hot stone massage. Seriously amazing.

This morning we had such a fantastic morning we decided to decided to make it a tradition. After we woke up we just threw on some clothes and we were out of the house by 8:20 (and Jasper woke us up at 8) grabbed the wagon and walked to Starbucks for muffins and coffee (hot choc. for j man) we took our breakfast to go and headed to a nearby park. We spent all morning there. When the sun was fully out it ended feeling like a real spring morning. Making me want spring NOW.
I just had to wear sandals to show of my pretty red toes. Which by the way I was only going to get a pedicure, which is why I chose red. I absolutely Love red toes. I find them very feminine and sexy at the same time. If painting my fingernails I usually go with a darker color, but when I decided last minute to get a manicure also I went with red also so I wouldn't have two different colors going on. And you know what? I kind of love it. Actually I love it a lot.

After our morning at the park Drew and Jasper unpacked the rest of Jasper's room and I made us some delicious swedish sandwiches. What makes them Swedish? The Swedish tunnebrod (think bread) that my friends hooked me up with when I was there in Jan. They sent about 10 packages home with me that we immediately froze and have been tacking out a pack here or there trying to make it last as long as possible. We are sadly on to our second to last package and then we won't have any till July!

Doesn't that look delish? Cream cheese, topped with cheddar cheese, cucumber and orange pepper. With a side of Drew's grampa's pickles.

We enjoyed our lunch outside then it was nap time followed by more unpacking. Hope you all had a fabulous weekend!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Being a mother isn't hard. Parenting is hard.AKA the post that will result in some hating me.

I might get death threats from mother's of newborns for writing this. But honestly? I didn't think having a newborn was hard work. Yes, breastfeeding hurt, yes, waking up 2-3 times a night was tiring- but if you take advantage of the whole 'nap while your newborn is napping' you can totally make sure you aren't sleep deprived.

Obviously if you are a working mother of a newborn that's a whole new ball game and not something I really have an expertise in (except starting at 2 months I did nanny part time so my naps disappeared then) but if you are a stay at home mom and your main job is to care for an infant- my honest opinion is it's not That hard!

I get  annoyed when I hear moms of newborns complain every day about how hard it is with a newborn. And I guess it's possible that I just had a Really good baby. And obviously these are just MY Personal experiences. But compared to having a very active, STUBBORN, willful three year old? The newborn stage was a piece. of. cake.

Here's why.

Newborns sleep what, roughly 18-20 hours in a 24 hr period? Maybe a little less? That leaves 4-6 hrs in a day that you need to be mentally one hundred percent there for your baby. The rest of the time? As long as you are a light sleeper and can wake as soon as you hear your baby, you can be sleeping, cleaning, cooking- whatever else you need to get done that is hard to do with a baby that's awake.

My three year old- different story. He recently decided his two hour daily nap is no longer necessary (except it IS because he is crabby as hell if he doesn't get it) so I spend 30 min. every day coaxing him down for a nap- going in every 5 min because he has to potty, kicked his blanket off, dropped his bluey, needs a drink of water, wants a kiss and the list goes on. Only to wake up 35-45 min later completely DONE for the day. This is a billion times harder than when I had a newborn who fell asleep anywhere, didn't matter where we were, how loud it was, if it was dark enough etc. Maybe this wasn't a big deal if I wasn't a 'single mom' during the week. My husband is gone for work from 6:45 AM till about 8 PM most nights, my nearest family member is 700 miles away, which means it's just me and Jasper from the moment he wakes up until he goes to bed at night.

When Jasper was a newborn- I either stuck him on my boob, or made a bottle of formula. Meals were So simple. Sure pumping hurt like a bitch, I didn't have a very good milk supply, Ever, even after sitting hooked up to the pump for an hour at a time 6 times a day, that was still simpler than now.

Now I have to make sure I have 5 nutritious meals planned out every day. And it has to be a variety. And I have to make sure he is getting enough fruits, vegetables, protein, calcium,iron... much more complex than formula or breast milk ever was.

So besides the sleep and eating issue. This kid needs entertained. All freakin day.

As a baby? He would be content for 30 min. watching me shower. He would sit in his little bouncy chair and as long as I flashed him a smile and a coo every few minutes he was fascinated.

Now? I can plan out an ENTIRE day the night before. I even use lesson planning that I learned/studied in all of my Early Childhood Ed. classes I've taken. I can have coloring sheets, letters for him to practice,  a baking activity, working on our Swedish, singing songs, a train track built and a park date ALL done before 10 AM. And he still wants more obviously.

As a baby, if I needed to cook dinner I could either wrap him up in the wrap, lay him on a floor with a blanket, put him in his swing or bouncer so I could get stuff done. Easily. Every day. It was Rarely an issue to get the things done I needed.

My three year old? Chill on a blanket or  in a chair while I make dinner? Nope. no way. Take for today for example. I head into the kitchen to prepare some quesadillas for dinner. Takes me 7-10 minutes tops. Head into his bedroom which is about like 7 feet away, discover him in his closet. He has open all of his drawers, taken out every pair of pants/shorts he owns and thrown them on the floor. And now the dog is laying on them. So the 7 minutes it took me to make dinner? Has now given me an extra 3 hours worth of washing/drying/folding and putting away clothes.

And then there is the disciplining. For me this has been the hardest part of being a mom. The Actual parenting part. Keeping a newborn alive? Piece of cake. Figuring how to discipline my child so he doesn't turn into a spoiled brat but still giving him room to grow as an individual? Hard and terrifying. It's been hard to find a balance between being too strict and too lax. I think it's very important to set boundaries with children. I think they need routines and rules. But it's also important for them to have choices and figure things out on their own.

So that's where we are now. And it's a daily struggle. Jasper has a Very strong personality. Which I couldn't possibly love more about him. He is such  fun, loving, vibrant little person but he is also Very stubborn. Which he gets from both of his parents. He likes to push and test his limits Ever day. In almost every circumstance. And it's easy to let him do it. It's much harder to stick with the rules I set for him. If I warn him about leaving his clothes in the drawer (this wasn't the first time he has done this) and tell him if he continues to rip his clothes out we will be canceling his afternoon park date, and he waits till I'm out of the room and then rips all the clothes out? There has to be consequences. And I really wanted to go to starbucks/the park this afternoon. But I had to follow through. And that can be hard for me.

It's entirely possible that I have just forgotten how hard having a newborn. Maybe I completely blurred out how tough it was, because when I think about to the newborn stage? I don't remember it being hard. And it's not that I don't remember having to pace around the house for hours at night because of colic. or howe sore my nipples AND vajajaj hurt for months. I just think compared to parenting a soon to be 4 year old, the newborn stage was easy.

**Watching my son grow and learn has been the best experience of my life and I wouldn't change a single hard day, or anything about his personality  for ANYTHING in the world. Today has just been a Long day.**

Sephora obsession:

I need to try this.

I Love my dior show iconic, but this brush looks Saweeeet. The only problem? The reviews I've read are So mixed. Anyone tried it?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


we have internet (and cable!!) hooked up at the new house so I'll be able to catch up on all the blogs I've been missing for the last week and a half. I'm not sure I've ever been so excited to see a smelly stranger (direct tv guy) in my home. Thankfully my father in law was here (came out for the weekend to help us move) otherwise I would have been a little freaked out. The guy was super friendly and helpful, but slightly sketch.

And some random pictures from the past week.

Why yes that is a whole in a the wall. Happened about 17 seconds after we moved in.