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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Conversations with my Husband: Misheard Lyrics

As we were heading to Tacos El Gordo for dinner last night, the song "Chandelier" came on the radio.

Tuan: I didn't think it was chandelier. I thought she was saying sugary leaves...and I thought it was Rihanna.

Me: Sugary leaves??

Hahaha. Tuan is the best. He was on to something though because Sia did originally write the song for Rihanna. Happy Hump Day, everyone!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Sunday Mass with a Toddler

[One day we were going to spend more time inside of church than we do roaming the grounds]

On Tuan
Shirt: Penguin
Pants: Gap
Shoes: Vans for JCrew

On Parker
Shirt: Ben Sherman
Pants: Zara Kids
Shoes: Adidas

Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide - Week 6 Progress Pictures

Over the weekend I finished week 6 of Kayla Itsines' Bikini Body Guide. Week 6 was challenging and I can guarantee that nothing makes you look as crazy as doing broad jump burpees in the middle of the day in a rain storm. Nothing. It's becoming increasingly difficult to find the right benches and steps at the park to accomplish some of the exercises (feet raised tricep dips, split squats) but I've been doing what I can and modifying some of the exercises as needed. Isn't it incredible how many squat variations there are? On days I don't feel like working out, I turn to the #kaylaarmy on Instagram and find motivation in the encouraging words and photos of others who are also working their way through the guide. 

Now for the big news! For those that don't know, I have type 2 diabetes and my goal with following this program, more so than weight loss and looking good in a bikini, has been to get my A1C to under 7.  In February I vowed to get healthy after finding out my A1C was 13. Yesterday I met with my endocrinologist and my A1C is 6.5! I'm over the moon excited about my latest lab results. Cheers to being healthy and taking control of my diabetes.    

I'm half way there! Six more weeks to go.
[You can see a little change in my thighs and a definite change around my waist]
[My legs and arms are feeling really strong. All those burpees and push ups are paying off.]
[Side by side of weeks 1, 4 and 6. Chipping away at that abdominal fat slowly.]

Friday, July 25, 2014

Review of The Smoking Goat Restaurant + Swoon Dessert Bar

One of the things I look forward to the most whenever my in-laws are in town are date nights with Tuan. On Wednesday we decided to try something new and went to The Smoking Goat in North Park. The restaurant takes reservations but we didn't bother to make any since it was a Wednesday night. We arrived around 6:00 PM to take advantage of their Happy Hour menu and were seated promptly by the host. 

We sat on the patio since it was a nice day out and the dining room seemed really dark. It was nice to soak up the summer sun while enjoying a $4 glass of Malbec and an order of the baked brie. The artichoke and leeks really elevated the brie and made it special. I tried to be good about my carb intake but I couldn't stop myself from eating two slices of the toasted ciabatta.

[Baked Brie - artichoke and leeks cooked in wine with ciabatta $6 on the Happy Hour Menu]

A few minutes after we finished the brie, our waiter brought out my pork chop and Tuan's ribeye. What a feast for the eyes! Both dishes were beautifully seared and I snapped a couple of photos before we dove in. My pork chop was good not mind blowing. Maybe I don't really like pork chops? While looking the menu over, I was drawn to the chicken but hello it's date night. I eat chicken almost every single day. I wanted to eat something I normally don't eat. Result? I should have ordered the chicken. I will say that the tomato sauce the pork chop came with was delicious and really complimented the meal.

[Brined Pork Chop - 
fingerlings, Suzie's bush beans, smoky tomato sauce, preserved lemon chipotle butter $24]

Tuan's ribeye was very good but the duckfat fries were the star of the plate. The fries were extra crispy, topped with pecorino romano and served with a mustard aoili. So good. We are both french fry addicts and these were some of the most addicting fries we've had. Next time, we will probably just get a large order of the fries. I can eat those all day.

[Ribeye - duckfat truffle fries, little salad, herb butter, red wine sauce $30]

[My hot date. He's so patient about my picture taking. Haha]

After we finished our meals, we snuck a peek at the dessert menu but decided to skip on it since we were so close to Swoon. If you are near Swoon, you have Swoon. Sorry, Smoking Goat. I'm sure your desserts are just as good as your food but Swoon was calling us.

3408 30th Street
San Diego, CA 92104

Swoon is hands down my favorite dessert place in San Diego. The flavor combinations of their desserts are exciting and the portions are generous without being overwhelming (ahem Extraordinary Desserts). Tuan and I like have chef surprise us with the Chef's Choice 3-Course for $18. It's always a fun experience and we don't have to have the "So, what do you want to get?" discussion. Chef creates each dessert on the spot behind the dessert bar and they are delivered one at a time by the hostess. Each dessert we tried was delicious but my favorite this time around was the melon gazpacho. So refreshing! I can't wait to go back again.

[Galia Melon Gazpacho with plums, pickled grapes and carrot sorbet]

[Strawberry Ice Cream with charred strawberries, marshmallow fluff, fudge and graham cracker crumbs]

[Oven roasted Peach Ice Cream with summer berries, corn bread and black pepper honey]

3139 University Ave.
San Diego, CA

Swoon needs a real website. Why does their website link point to a Facebook page?

Click to add a blog post for The Smoking Goat on Zomato

Ice Cream Dreams - Drool Worthy Ice Cream Creations for National Ice Cream Month

It's summer. It's hot. It's also National Ice Cream Month so let's cool down with these ice cream creations that make me wish I wasn't diabetic. I'm going to try to make the mango sticky rice ice cream and will report back. In the meantime, keep dreaming those ice cream dreams! And on that note, have a great weekend everyone. Tomorrow I head to OC for a book club meeting and we get to welcome our Aussie house guests.

[Dulce de Leche Ice Cream Waffle Sandwiches spotted on Squirrelly Minds]

[Donut Heaven Sundae spotted on Some Kitchen Stories]

[Fried Ice Cream in Puff Pastry spotted on La Receta de la Felicidad]

[Choco Tacos spotted on Food 52]

[Toasted Coconut Mango Ice Cream spotted on You Are My Fave]

[Caramel Peanut Butter Cup Soft Pretzel Ice Cream Sammies spotted on Half Baked Harvest]

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Mini Me Look for a Trip to the Zoo

Boredom Buster: Sorting Bugs

In preparation for this Bug Hunt Sensory Bin I spotted Mama Miss, I bought Parker a Safari LTD Insects TOOB. Since I haven't gotten my act together with buying a bin and some black beans yet, I let him sort the bugs in an ice tray. Actually, it's the fresh food tray I used to use to make his baby food in. Way to re-purpose right? He loved putting the bugs in the tray and did this for 10 mins on his own. Easy peasy.

If you haven't checked out the Mama Miss blog yet, you should! She offers a ton of fun kid ideas and free printables. It takes the hard part out of being a super mom.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

No Shirt, No Problem

Boredom Buster: Sandwich Bag Puppet

Another boredom busting project from the Creatology Mega Box of Projects: sandwich bag dog puppet. We worked on this while Grandpa made dinner. So easy. So entertaining. All you need is a glue stick and it's included in the box.

Stylish Clothes for Chic Little Girls Featuring Hucklebones

We are normally all about boys at the Parker Project but sometimes the cuteness of frills and bows is just to too strong to resist. Hucklebones is how I would want to dress my daughter. The attention to detail, lack of hot pink and classic shapes is fantastic and a welcome departure to most of the girls clothing that has saturated the market. I would also like to add that the dresses would be perfect for any flower girl. Happy shopping!  

[Feather Print Poplin Pleat Shorts]

[Cotton/Cashmere Cardigan]

[Lace Ruffle Sleeve Blouse]

[Metallic Spot Double Collar Top]

[Reverse Chambray Culottes]

[Giant Bow Sun Top]

[Daisy Chain Blouse]

[Metallic Spot Boat Neck Dress]

[Printed Silk Bodice Dress]

Monday, July 21, 2014

San Diego: A Half Day at Balboa Park

If you Google "family friendly vacation destinations" one of the top destinations is San Diego. There is so much the city has to offer and we love being tourists in our own city. On Saturday, we took a quick trip to Balboa Park to check out the free turtle and tortoise show and ended up spending a few hours exploring the park. If you are visiting San Diego with a LO, this is a must see. There are so many museums to visit, open fields to picnic on or run through, and of course, there is the zoo.

[Tuan and Parker having lunch by the Balboa Park Fountain. I'm happy I captured this father-son moment in front of the fountain where Tuan proposed to me.]

[Matching polka dot shirts. Parker is wearing Ben Sherman and Tuan is wearing JCrew.]

[Family selfie. This is not a great photo of Parker.]

[Checking out the turtles and tortoises at the free show put on by the San Diego Turtle and Tortoise Society. If you are ever looking for kid friendly things to do in San Diego, check out the events page on Red Tricycle. It's my go to guide for weekend adventures.]

[There was a strict no touching policy. Parker was a little scared so it worked out great.]

[After visiting the turtles and tortoises, we walked over to the zoo and checked out tigers, hippos and pandas. I love being zoo members! Hippo butts are my fave.]

[Since we were already in the area, we drove over the Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream to celebrate National Ice Cream Day a day early. Hammond's has been receiving rave reviews and photos of their ice cream have been popping up all over my social media accounts so we had to check it out.]

[I love that Hammond's offers flights of ice cream. The little cones are the perfect size for tasting and for Parker's little hands. Pictured above are cherry royale, passion sorbet, jamocha almond fudge, mint oreo, strawberry cream and pineapple coconut cream. Pineapple coconut cream was my favorite!]

Shirt: Ben Sherman found on Zulily
Pants: H&M Kids
Shoes: Zara Kids
Swagger: Born with it

Friday, July 18, 2014

Etsy Find: Shadow Puppet Toy

How great is this shadow puppet game from Nogaravin's Etsy shop? This would be a great game to play in the evening before bed or during backyard camping. It's a sure way to inspire creative play.

[Currently on sale for $31.94 for 5]

Melissa and Doug Pounding Bench

I've been eyeing this Melissa and Doug Pounding Bench for a while and finally snatched it up over the weekend at ROSS for $11. I'm a big fan of Melissa and Doug toys and I knew Parker would love this one because 1. It's very colorful 2. He gets to push/hit things. I have no doubt that this toy can taking a, literal, beating and will last us a while. Parker is still working on his hammering skills and finds it easier to just push the pegs with his hands. The Melissa and Doug Pounding Bench is also available on Amazon for $16. 

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Boredom Buster: Creatology Mega Box of Projects

On Sunday, Tuan went to North Park for the big World Cup viewing party with the guys (yay Germany!) and Parker and I stayed home and had a lot of quality time. The first thing we did was head to Michaels to pick up some projects to work on. It was just our luck that all the Creatology products are currently 50% off and there is a coupon for an additional 25% off all purchases (including sale items). I picked up this Creatology Mega Box of Projects for $12. The first project we worked on was "life on the farm" and I basically handed Parker stickers to arrange on the farm template. I tried to explain where each of the animals likes to play but he had his own ideas about it. This held his attention for about 15 minutes which is about an hour in toddler time.

One project down and 29 more to go. It's a relief to know that I will always have something on hand to do with Parker when we have down time. No play dough making required.


[He did this when I told him to hold up his artwork]

[Enjoying his art and snacking on pretzels]

[This is now proudly displayed on our refrigerator. A goat in the trees. A horse with a missing head. A chicken on the barn. A mouse in the river.]