I’m Kristina - freelance graphic designer, backyard farmer, cookbook reader, project starter, and new mom to a gorgeous little boy.

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Archive for March, 2012

March 28, 2012

28 weeks

Well! That weekly belly shot series has really taken off around here, hasn’t it! I think the last one I posted was 19 weeks? Oops. I’m sure none of you are surprised. Here’s where we stand at the moment:

You’ll notice the bangs are slowing growing. By June I’m hoping to be able to pull them back into a pony. Though I’ll miss them for sure. I think next summer they’ll be back.

I still find the idea that we’re having another child more of an abstract concept vs. a real reality. Probably because I’m having a hard time imagining a baby different than Dashiell. HE’S my baby. And I think when you don’t know the sex, maybe you tend to feel slightly more removed from who is inside? I could be wrong, but the unknown must play a part. I’ve always known that we would have more than one child, but I can also see why people choose to raise an only. I feel so fulfilled with just my little guy, but then I want him to have a sibling (or two!) so that they can all grow up together with the community and connection that a larger family can provide.

I feel prepared in ways I didn’t when I was pregnant the last time, but then I realize, who am I kidding!? I have no idea what it’s going to be like to have two! I figure the first year will be hard again, and then we’ll be settled into a new and comfortable normal.

In pregnancy land, I am…

Tired. Not sleepy, my body is tired. Like out of breath from the silliest things. Vacuuming, making dinner, etc.

Dry. OMG my skin is so dry. My face especially, which doesn’t make we want to put make-up on, or get dressed, or take pictures of myself.

In preparation, we’ve…

Ordered Dashie a new bed and rearranged his/their room. He won’t sleep on it for a good while, but we figured it would be better for him to start getting used to it earlier than later. I’m excited to have a snuggly place to read and play for the next few months.

Hired our doula again. I considered going it alone this time when I found out that my super dear friend Laura, who happens to be a midwife, would be in Europe and not available to be with me for this birth. But then I thought better of it because I feel like even though I kind of know what to expect, you never really know what to expect! Plus I asked Jora for her expert advice, being a mother of three babies who all came into this world with the help of a doula, and just hearing why she chose to have another woman with her each time helped me realize why I would want one too.

*Started* talking about names. Started being the key word. Last time we began that conversation upon receiving a positive pregnancy test. This time we have three months to go and are just getting around to thinking about it. We have a few in mind, but we’ll take any suggestions you might have. :)

I feel like there was more to report, but now that I’m trying to share, I can’t remember. Less than three months, people. I think June will be here very very soon.

Oh, and almost forgot! Here I am at 26 weeks in a little profile on the 31 Bits blog.

March 26, 2012

The best carrot cake recipe

In my opinion, that is. But I am particularly fond of carrot cake, if that gives me any cred. This is the cake I made for Dashiell’s birthday this year, and the cake we served at our wedding. Awwww. It’s my friend Carol’s recipe, actually her mom’s, and proves that sometimes old fashioned 50′s recipes are maybe the best after all. I first had it when she made it for my dad’s 40th birthday party, 20 years ago. (OMG!) I’ve been slightly obsessed since then.

It’s freakishly easy and pretty much makes itself, which makes you feel a wee bit guilty when accepting the abounding praise you’ll enjoy if you serve this to a group of people. And they will all demand the recipe. So I’ll just say, you’re welcome, and we’ll get on with the how-to.

The Most Delicious Carrot Cake Ever

Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour 2-9 inch round pans or 1-9×13 inch pan. Be liberal with the butter. It really does help the cake slide out more easily after baking.

For the cake:

2 c flour
2 T baking powder
1 1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt

2 t cinnamon
4 eggs
1 1/2 c sugar
1 1/2 c vegetable oil
1 t. vanilla
2 c grated carrots (I used more because I cannot help myself)
1 8 oz. can crushed pineapple, drained
1 c golden raisins
1 c chopped, toasted walnuts

The frosting*:

1/2 C butter
1 8 oz. pkg cream cheese
1 t vanilla
1 lb. sifted powdered sugar

To make:

Sift together flour, soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Beat eggs with sugar, then add oil and vanilla and blend. Add dry ingredients, mix well. Add remaining ingredients (the fruits and veg) and mix well. Turn into prepared pans and bake 35-40 minutes. Test for doneness with a wooden skewer. Let cake(s) cool in pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto racks to cool further.

Cream butter, cheese and vanilla. Add sugar gradually beating well. It’s so good.

*For a 9×13 inch cake, make 1 1/2 recipes of frosting, and for 2-9×13 inch cakes, 2 recipes of frosting is enough.

I made two batches of cake and 3 batches of frosting for a layer cake (totally winged it, btw), which also left me with enough for one extra round cake.

One tiny tip my mom shared whilst I was in the middle of muddling my way through my first ever frosted cake… for light frosting on a darker cake, you have to seal the entire thing with a thin coating of frosting first. This layer will be all crumby and messy looking, but then once it’s set (I put mine in the fridge for an hour or so), you can liberally frost the cake again without any ugly crumbs ruining your masterpiece.

Also, if you actually want your cake to look good, I’m pretty sure you’re supposed to trim the top and edges so the entire stack is beautiful and even. I forgot about that. But you know, I’m rustic at heart.

March 21, 2012

Fave organic baby clothes

I put together a little round up of my favorite organic baby clothes for The Chalkboard Mag, and I figured since so many of you have wee ones and/or are expecting wee ones, you might like to see my top picks.

Since we don’t know the sex of bebé number two, there’s really no point in buying a bunch of clothes ahead of time this time around. EXCEPT of course when something I love is on super sale. Then I get a free pass. Plus there will be plenty of time for online shopping after the baby has made his/her arrival.

If she’s a she, I’ve got so many cute things bookmarked. I mean, obviously.

March 15, 2012

Potter & Butler on sale now in the Pop-Up Shop!

It’s been a while since I shamelessly promoted the Pop-Up Shop over here, hasn’t it? With all of you beautiful mommies planning parties for your bebes, and baby showers for your friends and sisters, I figured you guys might love the pretties from Potter & Butler as much as I do.

BONUS – they’re on sale in the Pop-Up Shop until tomorrow eve. I’m probably going to have to stock up on pommy decor for the next few years.

Yet another compelling reason to have a girl this time around – I can plan parties that involve poms and fringe and delicate flowers and teeny cakes and things. Also the clothes. I mean, obviously.

Sale closes Friday at 6PM Pacific… but the cutest things might sell out before then.

March 14, 2012

Dashiell turns two

I was tempted to skip the birthday part altogether this year, I admit. We’ve had so much going on in the last week that it just seemed like one more not totally necessary thing to add to our list. BUT, I’m so glad we decided to have a little party after all. Dashie had fun, the bagels were delicious, the day was warm. And I made my first ever cake. Success all around!

Of course, it ended in mountains of new trucks. But what are you going to do? (Give the old ones to Goodwill, if you’re me. Ooops.)

His party last year included far more preparation and decorations, but that just wasn’t in the cards this time around.

And the cake recipe? Oh, um, yeah. Divine. Rave reviews from party goers. Shall I post it? I think so. Stay tuned.

March 12, 2012

Family trip to Mexico

So behind on posts. Geez. How about a few photos from Mexico? I’m thinking I will catch up and then I will totally be back in the routine of regular posting. Yes, quite sure that’s how it will work.

Funny story about this trip… we were supposed to go with 12 other friends. We were the only people flying out of LA, since tickets were expensive and seats were scarce, so everyone else bought tickets to fly out of Tijuana. No problem! Until the airline canceled all flights to Loreto from TJ, and we were the only ones left with tickets. We decided to go anyway and just enjoy the time as a family before we’re on house arrest this summer after the new bebe comes. Super glad we did.

Highlights: Dashiell at the beach, Dashiell at the pool, the local farmer’s market, horchata, charred jalapeños with salsa and chips, a Cirque du Soleil style performance on a sailboat by a French family, making simple food with simple ingredients, warm tortillas, clear water, no plans.

Not quite as warm as we’d hoped for, but still a really nice time together as a family. We love going to Mexico.

March 8, 2012

A favorite smoothie

Oh, hello. I bet you thought I’d completely disappeared forever. I haven’t! I am here! I am just, I don’t know, unable to get it together to post regularly at the moment. I want to, I really really do. But sometimes life just gets in the way. I think I might start again though. I have a bunch of ideas and photos and things I could share. Just need to make the time.

For now, how about my favorite smoothie? It’s so so delicious you guys. Definitely not a power smoothie… more of a treat. But everyone needs treats sometimes.

It’s a wee bit time intensive since you have to make the almond milk and juice the carrot ginger juice, but if you’re feeling motivated I certainly think it’s worth it.

Spicy Bunny
from Raw Food, Real World

(As per usual, the quantities are loose. Go with your instinct and you can’t go wrong!)

Equal parts homemade almond milk and fresh carrot-ginger juice.
2 bananas
4 dates (no pits, obvs)
pinch of cinnamon

Blend in blender. Drink.

If you’re lucky and have a good market or juice bar near you, you might be able to buy the carrot ginger juice and avoid getting the juicer down if that’s a deal breaker. It sometimes is for me, I have to admit. But I’ve been totally into my juicer recently and it turns out it’s not as annoying to clean as I make it out to be.

This pregnancy I’ve been craving raw vegetables and juices and kale and (as you know) almond milk like crazy. It seems like the opposite that is expected of pregnant ladies, but I’m going with it. I’ve also enjoyed my share of Häagen Dazs chocolate peanut butter ice cream, so there’s that too. Sigh.