Friday, April 27, 2012

I'm Looking For . . .

An awesome chickpea sliders recipe!

{Image Credit}
Last summer Mr. Love Bird and I went to an alumnae event for my high school, Columbus School for Girls, at Lincoln Center and they had delicious chickpea sliders as hors d'oeuvres. We had never had them before and ever since we can't stop talking about them especially since watching Forks Over Knives a few weeks ago. We definitely want to start eating less animal products and move beyond just Meatless Mondays.

I asked a friend who's vegetarian if it was normal to use mayonnaise in them as that's what I saw in one recipe I pulled up and she said it was but to try olive oil mayonnaise. Great idea! I HATE mayonnaise but if it's mixed into something it should be OK especially with olive oil, which I love. The same recipe also included miso in the burgers which apparently helps old it together. I haven't cooked with miso before so I think this would be a fun way to start!

Another recipe I came across uses red potatoes. I think I'd like to try that one too. I think a taste test post is in order . . .

Have any of my readers made chickpea burgers? If so, what works for you?
 
 

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I'm Behind in Life . . .

And so is every other mom blogger I guess, but I don't care! We Love Birds have been having so much fun enjoying spring in NYC - here's a quick snapshot of what we've been up to . . .

  • A couple weeks ago we went to Metro Minis' babywearing event at Kidberry in Harlem; it was so fun to be an inspiration to moms to keep wearing their little ones even into toddlerhood. I received lots of questions about my Boba:

  • I've gone to a couple book signings to see Scary Mommy and Courtney from Pizzazzerie, which has prompted an upcoming post about how interesting it is meeting bloggers IRL ("in real life")
 

  • We attended a Lion King event last week with members of the cast and students who have been working at Harlem School of the Arts on producing the show, and Nia had a blast and was even brought up on stage to learn a song - she's been singing it ever since!
 
  • Sunday night I attended fellow bloggers Smith & Ratliff's tasting dinner with 7 other strangers, and it was fantastic! {You can see the menu here and details on the set-up were just posted today here.} One of the things I truly love about NYC are opportunities like this (similar to the one I did here at Nat the Fat Rat's apartment) 

The Lovely Set-Up {Image Credit}

  • This Thursday morning Nia and I are invited to a fun mommy and me event at Dylan's Candy Bar sponsored by Mattel (I'll post a recap next week!) then we head down to the Penn Relays right after to see my sister Lauren in the shot put

  • Saturday is my other sister Ariane's birthday and on Sunday we're heading to Alice's Tea Cup to celebrate (I can't believe she's never been since she's especially girly); it was one of the first places I went for brunch when I arrived in NYC 5 years ago and where I had one of my bridal showers

  • Next weekend my sister Lauren graduates from Anderson University in South Carolina and we'll stop in Charlotte first to visit Mr. Love Bird's family (this includes 3 girl cousins that Nia has never met so I'm very excited!)
There are so many other little things going on too and plenty of playgroups/meet-ups etc. I can tell this spring/summer's going to fly by!




Friday, April 20, 2012

My Heart's in Harlem

As the weather's warmed up I've really started to miss Harlem despite the awful shooting that happened right after we left (and this one most recently). I liked going to our library for weekly storytime, Jackie Robinson Park especially for swimming and Riverbank Park for getting my power walking laps in. I also LOVED how close we were (2 stops!) from Columbus Circle - the base of Central Park.

Sigh . . .

Harlem's also been in the news lately because the real estate there is heating up. Prices are apparently on the upswing. The New York Times has published a couple articles recently about families moving into brownstones there especially as there is way more square footage substantially less expensive than downtown.

Here's a preview of those articles and a gorgeous townhouse on the market just steps down from our old apartment: 

The Downes family were profiled in a recent NYT article about Harlem {Image Credit}
In After a Short Nap, Harlem Is Back a few families are profiled explaining how moving to northern Manhattan gave them more space for less money. Honestly, it's not rocket science and I feel like NYT's frequent articles like this are part of some movement to speed up the gentrification of Harlem. I'm not against gentrification, but I think it's hilarious when I frequently see the description of those moving to Harlem as having a "pioneering spirit." I was happy to see The Downes, an African-American couple, profiled in this piece who paid $1.95 million for their renovated brownstone and were recently told it would fetch $2.7 million. Not bad!

Like most NYT articles of this nature, I especially enjoyed reading the comments. They're always full of people arguing for/against gentrification and complaining about how expensive NYC is. Of course, we all know that yet those of who choose to live here know it's exactly that - our choice! As March marked my 5 year anniversary of moving to NYC I especially liked this comment and agreed very much so:


I have been in Harlem for 5 years and love it. I love the history and the newness. I love the friendliness of my neighbors and the wonderful mix of artists, bankers, elderly and kids. Pitbulls and poodles. It's called New York City. - Stephen Kopstein


Next up, the article A Harlem House That Can Babysit that appeared before the one above showcased a family that yet again, moved uptown to find more space, but what really captured me was their story of being abroad to get away from the madness and returning to NYC, specifically to Harlem. I love that within their home they tried to create the common areas/open spaces that they witnessed in Mexico. This very much reminded me of what I witnessed in Nigeria (yes, I know I'm long overdue on posts - btw my notes on the trip unfortunately, were lost when my phone took a swim in the toilet a few weeks ago).

The home is stunning although the owners admitted noise definitely carries through the space:



I LOVE this kitchen - the wife mentioned that she uses this as demo kitchen for her business.

Finally check out this gorgeous townhouse just a couple blocks down from our old apartment {via Harlem Bespoke}:





{Image Credit}

{Recently, I was invited back to Harlem for two fun family events, and I'm working on recap posts this weekend. Be on the lookout next week for them!}
 


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

THE Best Birth Control . . .

Well, for me at least is having one child already!

Yep, I said it.

On my way home with Lil Love Bird
It's been about 7 months since my last post about how I have yet to feel urges to have baby #2 and after re-evaluating my feelings I still feel the same way. People ask me all the time, "Soooo when is baby #2 coming?" My response, "Not anytime soon!"

All around me I see baby #2s popping up and quite a few moms I know with children Nia's age already pregnant or who have already had a second. People would say to me before, "Oh just you wait and see, when Nia turns 18 months you're going to have a strong urge for #2." Well she's now 20 months old and nope, there is no such urge.

I used to not understand how people would be "so cruel" as to only have one child by choice, but now that I have Nia I completely understand! I even said to my mom once after having Nia, "How is our planet so populated???" LOL!

People would also say to me, "Oh you're going to miss being pregnant" and in no, way, shape or form have I found this to be true. I definitely prefer the 45 lbs lighter version of myself that I am now and LOVE LOVE LOVE fitting into tight skinny jeans, form fitting dresses and being light on my feet. Bloated ankles, a puffy face and the overall unsexiness I felt while pregnant just doesn't appeal to me (but I do have to say, I miss my pregnant booty!).

Don't get it twisted - I'm very happy to be mother to Nia and sometimes when I vent on Twitter it's just that - venting (usually about frustrations with Nia's inadequate sleep and how it impacts me building my business). I wouldn't have it any other way than to stay home with her. I'm sure my feelings on having #2 will change, but for now I'm perfectly happy with just my Nia. She fills my cup and it overflows and overflows and overflows!



Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Love Birds on Facebook

Please stop by and "like" our new Facebook page:


Thank you!

 

Monday, April 16, 2012

How Are You Gonna Make Your Millions?

Now that the MegaMillions madness is over it's time to be realistic about how to make it big time . . .

I was checking out Bibs & Baubles' recent post about entrepreneurship when I came across this CNBC slideshow about people who quit their jobs to start businesses. 

I saw a few brands I recognized and really enjoyed reading their stories:


So cool that Terra Chips were created in a NYC apartment kitchen - Mr. Love Bird and I LOVE these!


 I always thought Kayak was a subsidiary of a huge travel company - so cool that it was a start-up!



Method products are so cool and I'm a sucker for their packaging!


While I don't have a drive to create an actual retail product, I still look to ideas like these from fellow entrepreneurs to help inspire me to build my business


How are you going to make your millions?

 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Life With Nia: 20 Months

She's wearing one of the lovely headbands made by Creaciones Jonidyn which our good friend Sonali sent!
Hard to believe in four short months Nia will be 2 years old! I really need to get on the ball with planning her party - I'm definitely thinking an Elmo theme. I used to be anti-character birthdays but seeing her pure bliss and major obsession with him makes it a clear choice!

Speaking of Elmo, Nia thoroughly enjoyed Sesame Street Live today - pics are below in the update . . .
  • Toddler's Weight: She's gained a little over a pound since last month and is now 27 lbs.
  • Toddler's Height: I feel like she's over half my height now! I can't believe how long this child's legs are!
  • What size of clothing does toddler wear? 24 months still but some items the legs and arms are too short. Her sweater for Easter was a 3T and that arm length was perfect.
  • Any milestones toddler reached during the month:  
    • Perhaps TMI, but doing #2 more consistently in her potty.
    • Walking backwards - she LOVES to do this and looks so proud!
  • Special outings toddler had during the month:  
    • Besides the Easter festivities I've already posted, Sesame Street Live today was the big event of the month:

She had such a serious expression throughout the show as though she was thinking, "If they are on my TV, then how are they here too?"

I like her little silhouette and how she kept her bow on the entire time (she tore it off in the car home though!)
  • What are your thoughts about the past month? Nia is so verbal now, and it's really helped our relationship but at the same time it makes her more demanding. We're still going strong nursing only 1x/day in the morning now which has helped my sanity tremendously. She understands when I tell her she's a big girl now and the milk is all gone. The next step is getting this to work in the morning. We are having a hard time now with sleeping through the nigh,t and it's as though we've reverted to when she was a newborn. Not quite sure what's caused this and may be teething (although she appears to have all her teeth to me!) or not being full at night - she still rejects most protein and prefers veggies and rice as her meals. The biggest highlight for me has been getting away for long periods of time/ladies events which has been great for my mental health and for continuing to work on weaning (I have an upcoming post on some of the fun things I've been up to!). This has been a challenging but fun month overall!
Nia with her Auntie Nnenna who watched her while we saw Hunger Games (I had a love hate relationship with this pic cause it was out of focus but I love Nia's fudgey face!)
  • What was toddler's routine?  
    • Getting Nia to bed is easy - we have a set routine as I've shared in previous monthly updates and she's down at 8p.m. (no tears) but the issue is her waking up at midnight and being up for 2 hours asking to be held/wanting to play. This is wearing me and Mr. Love Bird out! I want her to CIO as we established months ago, but Mr. Love Bird likes to hold her while she sleeps so she is comforted. That makes for one tired and cranky Mr. Love Bird! As a compromise I'm working on CIO during naptime and the midnight wakings I go and sometimes rock her or as I did last night, get in her crib with her until she falls asleep (whatever works). We see her dr. next month for another vaccination that was part of a series from our trip to Nigeria so I'd like to speak with her about it then if it hasn't improved. Like I said above if we can stuff her little tummy before bed I think she'll sleep.

    • During the day my goal is to run her ragged so she'll sleep. The worst part of this is that it makes me tired and she still doesn't sleep! She gets by on about 7 hours of overnight sleep and one 30 minute - almost 1 hour nap/day. I don't understand how she's making it on so little sleep and how she's growing so tall!
  • Reflect about the highlights of the month: 
    • Being away from Nia! YAAAY! I love her so much but it's been a welcome change to get out more especially in the evenings now that we're not nursing at night.
  • Did any big changes occur? Just no more night nursing.
  • What are toddler's favorites - toy, food, person, etc... Still obsessed with Elmo! Oh, and on Easter this was her obsession - a balloon from church (they weren't giving them out but she asked for one from the decorations anyway!):



  • What I'm looking forward to?
    • Weaning off the morning feeding
    • The whole family heading to my sister Lauren's graduation from Anderson University in South Carolina the first weekend of May


Guest Posting Today Over at Here and Now!

I'm running out the door to celebrate Nia turning 20 months today by taking her to Sesame Street Live, but please stop by Rebecca's blog Here and Now to check out my guest post about balancing mommyhood and my professional ambitions entitled, "Understanding Sequencing."

I'll be back later with Nia's 20 months update!



Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lil Love Bird's Twin?

At Saturday's Easter egg hunt, I walked up on Mr. Love Bird standing over what I thought to be two Nias:


Yes, apparently Nia has a doppelganger in Jersey City and her name is Galilee!

Aren't they adorable with their matching pink and mini fros?

I hope this is the start of a cute little friendship!

Does your child have a "twin?"



Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Love Birds' Easter 2012 in Pictures

I hope all our readers had a wonderful Easter! 

Thank you to my college friend Liz for taking this picture of us after church!
I always get nervous when I have ambitious plans because as we know, nothing really quite ever goes according to plan but I do have to say after comparing what I hoped to happen vs. what actually happened this past holiday weekend it was nearly on target! Speaking of Target . . . the dress I had planned to get Nia (the yellow one I shared here) was actually not there when I went to get it - my mom had shared that photo in the post with me from her Target in Baltimore but I guess I was either too late or the stock is different. Oh well! I ended up putting her in a dress she wore while in Nigeria and it fit perfectly as seen above.


Here's highlights from the rest of our Easter weekend:

Good Friday's Park Picnic Playdate was fun!


Nia was ready for action at Saturday's Easter egg hunt at Van Vorst Park






Stuffed French toast was SO good on Sunday - detailed post to follow!

How was your Easter?



Thursday, April 5, 2012

Easter Plans

Lil Love Bird's first Easter 2011
I am so excited for Easter this year as it's our first altogether and just us as a little family! 

Mr. Love Bird is off Friday so we're excited for a long weekend; here's what we have to look forward to:

Friday
  • Easter mid-morning picnic at Lincoln Park with our local moms' group

Saturday
  • Easter egg hunt at Van Vorst park (it's divided by age group and I'm excited to see Nia compete in the under 2 group!) - I'll be filling eggs with mini bunny graham crackers as our donated contribution!
 Nia has been crying to open these all week!
  • That night a good friend of mine is having her bachelorette party. I won't be able to stay out the entire night due to the holiday but will be going to dinner with a few ladies in celebration at Rosa Mexicano - they have AWESOME guacamole (am I the only one who calls it Rosa Mexicana???)

 Sunday
  • I'm making America's Test Kitchen's stuffed French toast (I add strawberry jam to the cinammon and sugar cream cheese filling) and bacon (it's nitrate free which I have an upcoming post about some changes we've made to our eating habits thanks to Forks Over Knives)
  • Our church is having 2 services added to their regular 3 so we'll be able to attend church at 2:30p.m.
Nia's Easter dress
  • After church we'll come home, change out of our clothes and take a little rest before heading to an early dinner at our favorite local Italian restaurant - they're having a special Easter menu
It's going to be a fun weekend full of great weather and yummy food!

What are your Easter plans? 



P.S. You can see here and here how we spent Easter 2010 and 2011, respectively!

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