2.23.2017

Onion and Beet Salad


Love this salad that my mom often makes. 

Spring Lettuce Mix
Sliced Red Onion
Organic yellow beets
Honey roasted pecans
Feta cheese

Dressing: Extra virgin Olive Oil, drizzled with balsamic

Super Bowl Sunday 2017

37 weeks pregnant, my last "bump" photo!

Even though the New York Giants weren't in the super bowl this year, I was still excited for the game! I called some family and asked if we could get together for Sunday's super bowl, and we each could make a new recipe to try. They agreed to the good idea!

Since my baby's due date was today (2/23), I knew I had some time to enjoy myself the next couple of weeks. I decided to bring a Pillsbury recipe, pull apart bread with spinach and mozzarella (recipe here) - it's so good and I highly recommend you try it! My husband made two homemade salsas, one spicy and one salsa verde. We got to my aunt's house and started to indulge in the delicious apps. We planned to eat dinner right before the 6:20pm game start (Falcons vs. Patriots).


My big ole' belly was tightening with no pain (they call that Braxton Hicks), and my baby's hiney was sticking out high up on my stomach. I asked my grandma to feel it, and she did with light pressure. When she pressed my belly, I felt a weird pain causing me to stand up and head to the bathroom. On my way there after just a few steps, the flood gates opened - my water broke! My jeans were soaked down to my ankles, and it was not stopping! I was in absolute disbelief. At almost 3 weeks early, how could my water break already?! I've had zero changes, zero contractions. I had just been to the doctors office three days before, where they said my cervix was closed and it would still be a couple more weeks! WHAT?! My husband thought this was a joke, and my dad stared at me with a white, pale face. My eyes were bulging while I hold my legs together as tight as I could.

I panicked a bit, as we were about an hour and half away from the hospital. As a first time mom, I had no idea what was to come. I called the on call doctor, and the hospital to let them know we were going to be there in about 90 minutes. I knew I had to stop home first to get our bags. We quickly left my aunt's house, and Kevin drove about 85 mph on the expressway until we made it home. I got out of the car, and again, the flood gates opened! Where was all this water coming from?! lol We quickly grabbed our bags (thank goodness we packed them the week before), and grabbed our camera too. On the way to the hospital the on call doctor rang, and asked if I was having contractions. He mentioned maybe waiting at home until contractions were painful and close together, but I told him I was already on my way to the hospital (which was now 45 minutes away). He okayed me.

We arrived to the Emergency room where they had a wheel chair waiting for me. I got checked in to labor and delivery and I still couldn't believe I was about to meet this baby. Within 30 minutes, the contractions started and quickly progressed. Oh, the pain! I planned to go natural (no epidural). After 3 hours, I reached 4 cm dilation and the pain was pretty unbearable.  With each contraction, the baby's heartbeat dropped drastically and my body shook uncontrollably. We all decided an epidural would be best for the situation, and I agreed. We had to wait for the anethesiaologist and doctor to arrive (which conveniently was after the game ended)!!! I got my epidural and the pain disappeared as fast as I could blink. I thanked God at that point!!


Just hours later, I was fully dilated to 10 cm and the epidural had worn off. I could feel everything, and the doc came in and said it was time to push! 24 minutes of pushing, my beautiful girl was placed on my chest. My husband next to me, my mom with a front view next to my doctor, and the wonderful, helpful nurses on my other side. It was the most perfect experience of my life, I was feeling so extremely blessed.

Kora Rose, born at 4:14am on 2/6/17 weighing in at 6 lbs 8 oz and 19.5 inches long.




1.26.2017

Kiss My Apron: Bumpdate - 36 Weeks


Started off the new year in much better shape! My morning sickness has decreased from 7x a week to only 1x a week! At 35/36 weeks, I gained my first few pounds - finally! We have 4 short weeks to go until our due date, and I have already experienced contractions a couple of times. Other than getting sick once a week, I don't have many symptoms. All my tests have come back great, baby is measuring on track, and we are all ready for baby girl's arrival after the help from family and friends at our baby shower!


My baby shower was winter themed and it came out beautiful. It took a lot of hard work from my mom, aunt Tina, Kevin & I! We rented tables, chairs and linens, and I prepared all the activities myself. The shower was thrown at my parents house in Cutchogue, Long Island NY, and had about 40 people there. Here are some pics!







Head band making station


Elephant sign in guest painting





Time Capsule notes for Kora's Sweet 16                                             "Advice for the parents" cards
.
Hanging clothes lines







"Guess how many kisses"                                                           The best cheesecake ever!


35 weeks pregnant


We also had a maternity shoot done by our friend, and neighbor, Ali O'Brien! She did a wonderful job, and I'm so thankful to have these belly memories. I had hired a photographer and scheduled a snow shoot, but it snowed a lot more than expected and the photographer was unable to make it! Our friend, Ali, filled in and was a real trooper standing out in the cold with us to get some shots! Kevin also took some of me at my parents house. Thanks, Ali!!










Skillet-Fried Chicken Breasts


This recipe is a quick, easy one that I got from my mama. I bought a pack of split chicken breasts with rib bones (it also had the skin on). Cut them in half to get four pieces total. After frying them in the skillet, the skin becomes crispy which helps hold in the moisture of the chicken. I like to serve this with rice and beans, and tostones (fried plantains).

Ingredients:

Split Chicken Breasts, cut in half (bone in, skin on)
Oil for frying
Salt, pepper and Adobo for seasoning

Directions: 

1.Fill a skillet with oil  for frying (enough to cover up to half of the chicken pieces) and heat on level 8 (medium-high).

2. Season chicken with salt, pepper and adobo.

3. Fry chicken for 2 minutes on each side. Lower heat to level 7 and continue frying chicken for another 8 minutes on each side, flipping occasionally.

4. Remove chicken from skillet and let drain/pat dry.

Ready to eat, and of course watch out for the bones! :)

12.21.2016

Kiss My Apron: Baby Girl Nursery


Being how long it took my husband and I to finally get pregnant, I took a lot of pride in doing the nursery (a little too early lol). Of course, my husband wasn't very into the decorating part, which was great for me because I got to choose everything I wanted! Yes, once in a while on something pricey, I would ask for his OK to purchase, but Kev is an easy guy like that - he's got the whole "yes, honey" down pat. Happy wife, happy life, right?

Since our unborn baby is a girl (9 more weeks!!), I wanted something elegant but with that pink flare to add something that shouted "girl." Below you will find pictures of baby Kora's nursery and links to where most of the items were purchased. I really do love the way this came out, but I still have some items in need such as pink curtains, the rocker which is on order, and a pouf or ottoman for our feet. I have been keeping my eyes open and look forward to updating this post once it is fully complete!

BEFORE: 
Our house, built in 1986, was owned by an older gentleman and his wife. Both had passed, and we bought the house from their four children. Not much updating was done, until we moved in. The doors and trims were all dark brown, and the entire house painted in a beige color.

INSPIRATION:
I would save random pics from the internet of the styles I liked, and tried to do my best to match them.

AFTER:
We started with painting the walls. The color was silver bullet by Behr. One of the biggest issues with the nursery was finding an actual gray color. Still not entirely satisfied, silver bullet has a bit of a purple undertone to it. The other colors we tried had blue undertones, which just wasn't right for a girl's room in our opinion! After finally giving up, we just stuck with the silver bullet.


One of my favorite parts of the nursery is the wallpaper. My husband probably hates me for wanting to do one wall with wallpaper (hey, better than wanting to do all four walls), but after putting it up, he agreed the sweat and hard work was worth it. It is not easy to match up the designs, paint the wall with glue, and the paper with glue before finally pressing it against the wall evenly and smoothly. I love how the paper is textured, which also helps to hide the seems. The wallpaper was 32$ a roll and I needed two rolls to do one wall, and the inside of the closet.


My next favorite item! My dream rocking chair (way over priced) from Pottery Barn. The Radcliffe rocker is so perfect for this nursery and it took me weeks of deciding to get it or not. Eventually (after my husband got a raise lol), we decided to splurge and ordered the chair which takes about 8-10 weeks to arrive (special order). It comes in so many different colors and has different wood options. *Note: Happy to say it arrived in only 6 weeks! It needs some breaking in, but is absolutely beautiful!  Radcliffe Rocking Chair from Pottery Barn

We get tons of compliments on this next piece. I hand painted the medallion on the ceiling, which was purchased from Etsy here for about 34$ plus shipping. Painted medallions get really pricey on there, so it is worth doing yourself. The actual chandelier is from Home Depot. It was perfect size and not cheap or gaudy looking. It is elegant and the lighting is perfect for a nursery - very soft and not too bright. It also adds the pop of pinks we were hoping for.



 We had quite a bit of space on this wall and I wanted to fill it with some shelving. My husband offered to build some for me, but I saw these two shelves on Pottery Barn Kids and hit a good sale around Black Friday. I am really happy with them!

 I found this book case on wayfair.com and already started filling it with my favorite childhood books! I cannot wait to read to baby Kora. Book cases are always a wonderful idea for the nursery if you are looking to fill some space on a wall.



 We built the closet ourselves, with shelving from Home Depot. If you can see, we took the door off and covered the back wall with the same wallpaper above (also from Home Depot). I bought storage containers from home goods to use for socks, head bands, shoes and other smaller items.

 The baby's dresser was a gift from my parents. It was apart of the Pottery Barn Blythe Collection. We had to get the smaller dresser to save some space, and we topped the dresser with a gray mirror from Home Goods. We will use the top of the dresser for a changing table.

The crib is also from Pottery Barn's Blythe Collection and was the first item we bought for the room. I saw it on Pinterest and knew it was a must have. We are still waiting for a mattress and the bedding (which we hopefully get for our baby shower in mid January)!
*Note: the baby chair and ottoman was purchased from Home Goods

I love this canopy from Pottery Barn Kids. It adds color and sparkle, and is light and easy to hang. We used a screw in hook on the ceiling. It is very princessy :) 


The rug was also purchased from Home Goods (clearance deal for 100$)! It is super soft and neutral in color to match the furniture. Adding pops of pink through the crib bedding, a canopy for over the crib, pillows for the rocker and pink curtains for the window. We hope you enjoyed our nursery progress and again, I look forward to updating the post when our rocker and other items arrive!

11.15.2016

Kiss My Apron: Bumpdate

I am 26 weeks pregnant this week! One week away from the third trimester which is so exciting! We will be meeting baby Kora in about 99 days! My cooking has still been slacking due to a great deal of morning sickness everyday. My doctors even give me the whole, "you're still sick?!" thing. Anti-nausea medication has helped a bit for the day time, but my morning sickness is literal - the morning!


I was in my first wedding ever this past weekend and that was not easy! I woke up very early (and very sick) but was able to make it to the hotel by 7am to get my hair and make up done! It was a very long day, so by the end of the night (close to 11pm) both of my calves were throbbing with charlie horses. But hey, I did it, and had a great time being in my best friend's wedding! The food was outstanding, as I enjoyed my filet mignon to the fullest!



My husband and I finished the nursery and we are just waiting for the last pieces of furniture to be delivered this weekend. To have baby girl's room done is such a relief, as I didn't want to be doing a lot when my belly is too big to move! We painted, put up one wall of wallpaper (never want to do that again lol), set up the crib and hung a few things. I also built baby girl's closet all by myself, and hung the many clothes I can't stop buying!



Last week I tried a new recipe, passed down from my grandma to my mom, and it was such a good dish! I love being half Puerto Rican and being able to celebrate my past family through food. I made arroz con pollo at my hubs request for his birthday, but I did cheat a little bit (hopefully my deceased grandma wasn't too upset with me)! Instead of using raw chicken, I bought an already cooked rotisserie chicken. It was perfect! The meat was so moist and tender because it didn't have to cook for long. I started out with homemade sofrito (there is a bunch of recipes online for this, but I can't give away my secret family recipe - sorry ;) ), a small can of tomato sauce, corn oil, salt & pepper, a packet of sazon by goya and about a cup of water. Once the Spanish mixture was melted, I shredded up the rotisserie chicken and boiled it for about 5 minutes, then removed the chicken. I added more water to the pot, and brought to a heavy boil. Once boiling, this is when we cook the white rice. The water will evaporate, and then the rice covered with foil, the heat lowered and the pot covered to finish cooking for about 40 minutes. By the end, I added the chicken back in. On the side, I had a small pot of pigeon peas cooking - my husband's new favorite! And how can you not add green olives? I can't wait to make this again!



I'm also very excited about my new long plates, which we served filet mignon topped with a cipollini onion, brussels sprouts and tortellini on! Thank you target :)