Friday, October 29, 2010

Why I Don't Want to Paint Our White Walls

I keep vacillating between wanting to paint our white walls and wanting to just hang art up instead.

I was flipping through Lonny and came across this image that I think has finally tipped me towards wanting to hang art up instead:


I would love to do a blow up print of Uka with Nia on one of our walls. 

Then I see something like this from Apartment Therapy and I get excited for a pop of color above our dining room table:


Or what about this display I saw on Elements of Style via Lonny:


Do any of our readers have white walls? How have you decorated them?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mr. Love Bird & Nia's Photoshoot

Mr. Love Bird was busy at work when my best friend, Julie, was in town and shot my newborn photoshoot with Nia. I asked our church friend Les if he'd be able to do a shoot with Uka and Nia and a few weeks ago, right around the 2 month mark, he came by for brunch and the photoshoot. They turned out great!

Here's a sneak peek:







The full album is here.

Enjoy! 

Monday, October 25, 2010

Badness

I'm in a cooking/baking mood and when the weather cools off I wanna eat! I came up with this awful concoction the other day that I'm hoping will help my booty get right since I lost most of it when I had Nia ;-)


Uka calls it the Abe Lincoln (why? I don't know).

It's an oatmeal cookie/dulce de leche ice cream sandwich. I used the oatmeal cookie recipe from the Quaker Oats lid  - it's my favorite! I leave out the raisins though (Love Birds don't like them):

Quaker Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies

Ingredients
1/2 lb unsalted butter, softened
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
3 cups Quaker Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
1 cup raisins

Directions

Heat oven to 350 F. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well. Add oats and raisins; mix well.

Drop dough by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake 10-12 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

*The official recipe says it makes 4dz but it's more like 3!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Random Childhood Memory

I was obsessed with this Sesame Street short as a kid:



Anyone else remember this?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Squeaky Wheel - Update #8

This is a squeaky wheel report without an actual squeak! Let me explain . . .

A few months ago I accidentally washed my glasses in the washing machine (they were in the pocket of my robe), and they snapped right in two. Well, I finally got around to getting a new pair and went earlier this week for an eye exam and fitting. I quickly picked a style similar to the broken pair and in all of 15 minutes I was done. They told me to call back in 5-7 days to see if they had arrived. 

In less than 48 hours I received a call that they had arrived. I thought it was odd and headed over to the eye dr. They pulled them out and they were not my glasses. They were more elaborate and decorative than anything I would've picked out. I mean, they were nice, but they were not my glasses. 

The associates showed me the accompanying prescription slip, and I agreed that yes, that was me but those were not my glasses. They asked me to try them on and the prescription was perfect. I looked in the mirror and WOW! They looked great on me. 

Well the manager asked who had taken care of me that day, and I told him. It was a young girl who was so engrossed in personal phone calls that she confused my first and last name on the form although my insurance card clearly stated it. I mean, why would my name be Agbai Quiana? Does that even make sense???

Anyway, the manager and associates all agreed that the glasses looked good on me and asked if I liked them. I said, yes. The manager then said, "Well, since they look good on you and you like them then you can keep them!"

Now these glasses were 3x the amount my insurance benefit would allow, and I asked several times if I was going to get slapped with a bill for the difference. The manager assured me I wouldn't and said that because it was their error it was fine. 

YAY!!!!

So here I am with my stylish glasses:



Here you can see the fancy design on the side:


When I walked out the store on 135th and Broadway then over to Amsterdam it was amazing how clear everything looked - even the sunset! I'll definitely be wearing these more frequently around the city. I looked downtown and could even see the windows on the Empire State Building! I was on the phone with my mom at the time, and she laughed at me but totally understood how I was feeling because I inherited my blindness from her.

I now wonder if Nia will have to wear glasses or will she have her father's perfect eyes . . .

Anyway, this was a great example of customer service and not having to "squeak" to get a good deal!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Apple Stuff

I was so anxious to dig in I forgot to take a pic when it first came out the oven!
So with the apples my sister gave me I made a dessert I call "apple stuff." I first made it in Boston around 2003/2004ish after going apple picking with my ABC students. I found the recipe somewhere online and was originally looking for a cobbler, but this is more cakey. I think of cobbler as more crumbly.

Anyway, here's the recipe:

Ingredients:
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter (I made it with salted the first time and it was too salty; I've since learned the importance of always using unsalted butter when baking!)
  • 3-4 small/medium apples (whatever's your favorite is fine)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups sugar
Cut the apple in chunks and combine with the water and 1 cup of sugar (perhaps a little less if concerned with too much sugar) in a saucepan. Bring to boiling then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place stick of butter in Pyrex in a 350 degree oven to melt (I've made it in round cake pan before and it worked fine too).

Combine flour, remaining cup of sugar, baking powder in a bowl. Pour milk in slowly to prevent clumping while mixing with a wooden spoon. Pour the batter into the butter allowing the butter to rise of the batter (do not mix!). Carefully spoon the apples into the batter - they'll rise to the top while baking - and pour some of the syrup on top too. 

Bake for 30-45 minutes. 

Serve with ice cream (we usually eat with vanilla but tired dulce de leche and it was very good!).

If you end up making this please let us know how you like it! You can substitute other fruit too, like peaches =)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

What I Love About Fall

Apples

















My sister picked some for me on Sunday, and I'll be making a yummy dessert I call "Apple Stuff." I'll post a pic and recipe later this week. 


Crock-Pot Cooking

Tonight's Dinner: London Broil

This site has great recipes!

Sweaters






Well I just like fall fashion in general, but there's nothing like a cozy sweater. I like ones with funky collars! The one picture here is from Anthropolgie - one of my favorite stores. 


Planning for Upcoming Holidays



Day After Thanksgiving 2009

I LOVE Thanksgiving, and this year we'll be in NYC. I'm looking forward to planning a menu and possibly having family over for dinner.

What are some of your favorite fall things?


Friday, October 15, 2010

Good News!

We Love Birds get to stay put! That's all I can say for now, but I'll be posting more details in couple weeks about how it all came about.

God is so good =)

Have a good weekend everyone!

Oh! Here's a pic of Nia since I don't have any other pic to post:



Thursday, October 14, 2010

Mommy Acronyms: Do I Have to Pick One?



As I prepare to possibly re-enter the corporate world I've been mulling over the mommy acronyms, mommy guilt, daycare options, etc. Boy, is there a lot out there!

A fellow Wellesley alum, dr., and mom of 2 recently posted this on her blog: 

"And that's what working parenthood feels like a lot of the time. Trying to do two important jobs in parallel, and half-assing both of them."

This is exactly what I've been concerned about since I was in college. I used to ask the mothers I babysit for who worked outside of the home what it was like and how they balanced it all. My mother worked past pre-school age with me, but I remember those early years of her being home with me, and I feel so thankful that we had that time together.

The reality now, especially with this apartment situation, is that Mr. Love Bird and I agree that it's time we start thinking about leaving NYC and by me returning to work will help us reach that goal much quicker. Having to move every year is a real pain and we just want to feel settled. Having our own place will help us be in control. 

So back to the title of this post "Mommy Acronyms . . ." 

I came across this post that spoke to the battle between SAHMs and WOHMs. I feel like as women we're constantly made out to be battling about something constantly and this is one more thing to add to that list. Honestly, "work" happens at home and out of the home so I really dislike this designation and I don't want to label myself as such. In the end, I appreciate this blogger's solution: 

"SAHM's/SAHD's/WOHM's/WOHD's - whiners. lets have a barbecue. We'll let the kids run around naked in the kiddie pool while we drown in margueritaville. Open invitation to those bringing kids."

I'm currently reading Getting to 50/50: How Working Couples Can Have It All by Sharing All. It discusses the balance of husband/wife duties when both parents are working. I'm not that far along into it, but I highly recommend it!

What do our readers think?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Mrs. Love Bird's New Hair Do

I totally miss having long hair:



However, I decided that healthy hair was more important so I chopped it off. Uka actually cut most of it then I did some and the salon finished it by blow drying, cutting some more, then flat ironing. Nia still recognizes me so that's a good thing!

I haven't decided if I'll relax my hair ever again, but what drove me to it was that I was getting tired of having two competing textures. My plan was to transition little by slowly, but it was getting too much to handle, and I feel so much better now just having one texture.

Regarding it being healthy, I've noticed that since leaving Boston and coming to New York in 2007 Dominican salons have wreaked havoc on my hair. The blow dyring, tugging and pulling has thinned it tremendously, and I miss the thick, healthy hair I used to have. I've had a hard time finding a salon that will care for my hair, style it well, charge a reasonable price and respect my time. The one salon that I found that did all of these things was Synergi in Columbus, OH, and I really wish they'd open a branch here. They would do tremendous business here in NYC.

Honestly, Mr. Love Bird is having a challenging time adjusting to my new style but we've known each other 11 years and he's seen my hair in many different styles. He knows it will grow back , but if patience wears thin I can always get a weave like this one on BeingMrsJones. She looks fabulous!


Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Life With Nia: Two Months Old


  • Baby's Weight: On Nia's September 29 appointment she was 11lbs, 3oz and by now I'm sure she's over 12lbs
  • Baby's Height: Again on her September 29th appointment she was 22 1/2"
  • What size of clothing does baby wear? All newborn clothing has been packed up and is being given away :-( Nia's wearing the 3 month old size now
  • Any milestones baby reached during the month:  
      • Nia is making consonant sounds like "gah"
      • She can consistently hit the hanging toys while laying on her playmat
      • She lifts her neck 90 degrees; she surprised me by doing this in her co-sleeper two weeks ago while I was folding clothes on the bed
      • Nia rolled from her tummy to her back 4x! I couldn't believe it at first, but I had Uka watch and she did it twice in front of him. During her last dr. appointment the dr. saw how wriggly she was and how when placed on her tummy she tries to scoot! She told me we really have to keep our eyes on her.
  • Special outings baby had during the month: Nia now goes to church (she sleeps through most of it but listens to the music sometimes), and we took her to Queens to visit her great-grandmother.
  • What are your thoughts about the past month? I'm so in love with Nia and her personality is really starting to sparkle now. I feel so rewarded by her smiles, and I feel so proud seeing her get more and more chunky! 
  • What was baby's routine? Nia's sleeping consistently overnight in her co-sleeper from about midnight until 5a.m. She's taking shorter, more frequent naps during the day. She's happiest around 6-9a.m. which she thinks is playtime! I put her in bed between us at that time and she babbles and coos. Her hands keep her entertained most of the time.
  • Reflect about the highlights of the month: Definitely the pronounced smiling and "conversations" we have. She's so responsive now, and I love it!
  • Did any big changes occur, such as baby started daycare, stopped nursing, slept through the night, etc... Just the rolling over
  • What are baby's favorites - toy, food, person, etc... She still lover her playmat and gets very smiley when daddy's on the scene.

Monday, October 11, 2010

It'll Grow Back . . .

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Randomness

Am  I the only one who used to watch this show?



And did anyone else ever watch this movie?


(SJP was in it!)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

TV in the Bedroom? No Way!

As Uka and I prepare to move, there is one rule we agree upon that will stay the same in our new apartment: no TV in the bedroom

Similar to our beliefs about bed-sharing, we believe TV in the bedroom kills intimacy. In fact, there was a heated discussion about this over on Unplggd, Apartment Therapy's technology website.

This commenter made her position clear:

"As for the sex question, holy cow, people, it's not TV that is the problem; it's being tired from being busy/active all day. Before I was a mom, sex wasn't just limited to the bedroom either. If I can have sex in the office or any other room, then why can't I watch a program in any old room?!"

There was also a commenter who believed bringing a Blackberry to bed was just as bad. Not sure how I feel about that one . . .

What do our readers think?

Monday, October 4, 2010

Some things change . . .

With the change of the seasons I'm reflecting on things that have changed. I know change is a part of life, but I'm trying to tally things that have changed for the worse vs. for the better. Lately, it's seemed the "for the worse" category is winning, but I'm trying to stay positive and see the silver lining . . .

The biggest change we Love Birds are dealing with now is moving. Unfortunately, we have to leave our little love nest by November 1. The silver lining is that we'll have a proper two-bedroom apartment so Nia can have her own room. I'd love to stay in the same neighborhood, but we'll see . . . It's really been tiring moving every year, and I just want to get to the point where I feel settled. I'm always envious when I hear fellow New Yorkers who say, "Oh, I've been in my current apartment for 5 years!" I've never been anywhere, except for my childhood home in Columbus, OH for that long. 

Recently I was talking with a friend about displacement and that's exactly what I'm feeling right now. It's a feeling that I don't like. Despite this, I feel blessed that our friends have given us some good leads on 2 bdrms. Now if we can make it out the door with baby in tow to start seeing them. The weather is getting chilly so gonna make sure we bundle her up well!

Here's a picture of her from this morning in the blanket my mom (Nana B, as she likes to call herself!) crocheted for her:



Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mompetitors

A Facebook friend of mine had this on her wall, and I found it funny:



Thoughts???

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