Wednesday, March 26, 2014


When I was pregnant, there was only one thing I craved - apple juice. Yes, that sounds kind of weird but whenever it was an option, I wanted apple juice. I sought it out. The only thing I've craved post-pregnancy has been orzo salad. How weird is that? I've just really been in the mood for it lately so I finally made some this week and it was delicious.

This is the recipe I chose and I would make it again but I might use mozzarella next time. I love feta but I love mozzarella, too. I also went to two different stores and both were out of fresh basil so I used a little bit of dried basil instead and that worked just fine. I also used baby spinach as I prefer that over arugula.

  • Dressing: 
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Salad:
  • 12 ounces orzo pasta
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 4 tablespoons thinly sliced chives or green onions
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 cup arugula or baby spinach, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup pine nuts, toasted (heat them in a dry skillet over medium-low heat, tossing often until golden)
  1. For the dressing, whisk together the vinegar, lemon juice, honey and oil. Season to taste with a bit of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. For the salad, cook the orzo in the chicken broth until tender according to package directions. Drain well but do not rinse. Let the pasta cool to room temperature, tossing often so it doesn't stick together (stir in 1-2 tablespoons of the dressing if the pasta is overly sticky). Toss the cooled pasta with the tomatoes, chives or green onions, basil, and arugula or spinach.
  3. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and stir to coat the ingredients with the dressing. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Sprinkle the feta and pine nuts over the top and toss lightly. Serve at room temperature.

Thursday, March 20, 2014


Happy first day of spring! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Baby's First St. Patrick's Day

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Weekend Visitor

We had a weekend visitor - Natalie came from St. Louis to see us. In addition to snuggling a baby, we spent our weekend shopping, eating great food, getting pedicures and just catching up. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Saturday Night Fun

My mom and sister babysat on Saturday night while Joe and I went to an event where we met Jim Belushi. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Three Months

Sunday, March 09, 2014

A Visit With Auntie

My sister got to meet Claudia this weekend for the first time when she came to visit. My mom came, too. It was a very short visit but so good to see them. 
Claudia and my mom. Doesn't Claudia look like such a big girl here? 

With Aunt Cathy.

Claudia also met the Easter Bunny! 

Sunday, March 02, 2014

What a difference a week makes

This is the week that I was supposed to go back to work from my maternity leave. My baby girl is 11 weeks old but because I was in the hospital for a few days before giving birth, I was supposed to return to work on Tuesday. This time last week, I was a complete wreck with way too much anxiety about leaving her. I had spent most of my maternity leave worrying about how this would go. Maybe it's because I knew my job too well and I knew myself. I let the busyness play out in my head over and over. And maybe the anticipation would have been the worst of it. Or maybe not.

And then last week I did it. I called my boss and told her I wasn't coming back. I immediately felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. And then about an hour later panic set in. Real heart palpitations. What did I just do? Could I call her back and tell her I'd made a mistake?

I have flip-flopped most of my leave about what the right thing would be for me and Claudia. I know it's different for every mom but I think this is what I'm supposed to do for now. We'll see how it goes. I'm hoping to eventually work part-time but until then, this is what we'll do.

I plan on trying out a mom's group this week. Maybe we'll enroll in Gymboree classes and when she gets a little older - story time at the library. In the summer, we'll take walks to the park and around the Arboretum. Maybe we'll go swimming at the pool just down the street. We'll visit the local petting zoo and feed the ducks. We'll meet daddy for lunch and go to the children's museum. We'll have fun together every day.

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