An Unlikely Romance- How I Met My Mistress

In college, I lived off skipping meals and beer. A diet that suited my wallet and had no effect on my waistline.  However, at 25 years old, I was a newlywed, blissfully married and neither my husband nor I could cook.  My husband refused to believe that beer was a perfectly acceptable calorie replacement for food (stubborn male), and I reluctantly began to notice my metabolism was catching up to me. (Who knew beer was filled with empty calories?)

As he was in Arabic training for 8 hours a day with hours of schoolwork each night, the mission of learning to cook fell on me.  I had absolutely no desire to learn how to cook, but my desire to not gain 100 pounds from crappy eating habits was much greater.  Thus began my reluctant cooking trials.  

Our smoke alarm went off so often that we joked it was our "dinner is ready bell," and we kept a broomstick near the door to prop it open to air out all the smoke. Nearly 8 years later, I can still recite the local pizza delivery service by heart.  But, I was stubborn, conceding that I may never be a "good" cook, but that cooking somewhat edible food had to be in my reach.

Then, lo and behold, the smoke began to fade, our broom was used for its originally intended purpose and I graduated from serving edible food (I consider ordering pizza as serving)  to being a "good" cook.  Exotic recipes, new ingredients, exploring foods, pairing wines, reading cookbooks-  I was madly, deeply, hopelessly in love.  I started using words like "al dente" "braising"  "roux".  "Mise en place" became a way of life.

25 years old, newly married and I fell in love with someone new; my husband was not at all jealous of my mistress and insisted on giving us time to ourselves.

I did not lose all my old college habits; but, I did upgrade from beer-I often occasionally replace wine with food as an acceptable form of calorie swapping.  Old habits die hard.  And wine is delicious.


Photos from My Humble Beginnings (from many years ago, before I had a "real" camera or cared much about taking pictures)


My First Success- Mussels in a Spicy Marinara- Still A Favorite- Will Share Recipe Soon!


First Time Cooking Live Crab- Delicious!! (and scary and I was a bit sad)

My 1st Thanksgiving Turkey- so many reasons to be embarrassed here- mismatching plates, paper towel napkins, lol


I was reading tons of magazines and thought Id try to be "artsy" with my caprese, lol (so terrible!)

My First Gnocchi- which was a pain to make & we do not eat carbs, so it is the ONLY time I made it, glad I got  a pic!


Most people I know who enjoy cooking have loved cooking since they were a child, anyone like me begin later in life?

What started YOUR love of cooking? Tell me in the comments!

Linked to Finding The Funny- a great collection of funny posts!


read to be read at yeahwrite.me

Summers in Brooklyn

Summer always brings me back to my childhood in Brooklyn.   After dinnertime, my brother and I would race outside and join all the other children so that we could play and play and play.  My sister, four years older than me, would immediately leave until her curfew, much too cool to hang out with her little brother and sister.

Mom and Dad would pull up their folding chairs, relax outside the house and chatter along with the other parents of the neighborhood.  Their friends would come by, sit, smoke cigarettes, and laugh while the condensation on their glasses of camparis & soda glistened in the summer humidity.

My parents did not need to pay too close of attention, as all the littles were under the watchful eye of the neighborhood.  Our little safe haven on 23rd Street- strangers were quickly vetted (and usually kicked out), any cut or scrape was cleaned at whomever's house you happened to be in front of at the time you fell, and if you dropped your money for the ice cream truck, someone always had extra for you.

We caught lightning bugs, we played tag, we jumped rope, we made up stories, we ate popsicles, we laughed, we ran and we played for hours.  As the night grew darker, one by one, we were called in for the night to bathe away our dirt, grime and sticky popsicle fingers.  Of course, we each begged for more time; the effort was futile, every night we were told No and had to come in...  but childhood wistfulness and persistence ensured we at least tried.

I miss the long, lazy days of summer from my childhood.  Now that we have Kalia, I am excited to experience again the long nights- to pull up a chair with my love, have a drink, maybe even enjoy a campari and soda for my parents- but most of all I will enjoy watching our children play together- carefree and safe.



Sister, me, & brother in front of out home in Brooklyn, New York circa 1989 - you can see her "too cool" look here, lol
Hanging out at Yeah Write! Check them out for a collection of great posts from around the web!

3 Reflections on Being A Mom for A Year

Kalia turned ONE last week!  Time flies and I cannot believe she is one already!  I am so busy with her party, but I took a moment to jot down some reflections in my small year of being a Mom.  I intend to write a more sentimental piece for her one year when my life is not a disarray of glitter.

1) Babies are WAY more resilient than you think.

I am incredibly klutzy:  klutzy mom + lack of sleep + precious little tiny baby = recipe for disaster.  Most new mothers irrationally fear dropping their babies, but it was a valid concern in our case (I am sorry, Kalia).

So.... I have not dropped her yet - but I have: misjudged the distance between entryways &
her head, kicked lightly touched her face with my foot and threw a ball into her head.
So far, she is totally fine, she does not cry when I bang graze her head on the door jam anymore; instead she has developed ninja baby skills and lifts her hands up covering her head against the door or my foot. Mom's klutziness= awesome self defense skills at one years old! (perhaps at the cost of a couple points of IQ)

[Kalia, this reflection is more for you. I apologize, but you will be in the news when you are two years old for saving your mom by calling 911. And I will be thankful because, frankly, having the neighbors call 911 when I am in shock (and pantless) from burning off my thighs from an exploding teacup is just embarrassing. (A true story for when you are older: Lesson Titled: "Why Wine is Safer Than Drinking Tea")]

2) I have absolutely no clue what I am doing.

And neither does any other parent, they are lying if they say anything else or they are just know it all people who cannot admit mistakes. If anyone was prepared, it was me-I read so many books, researched everything under the sun, but most of the time sometimes when Kalia cries, I have NO idea WHY. And she rarely cries, so I must really suck at this mommyhood thing. But, I cannot read in a book how Kalia will be. Kalia is Kalia, a totally unique individual (yes, even at 0 months old, babies are unique) and I love every single moment of discovering who she is. (Except when cleaning poop, I could totally leave that part out.)

3) I thought I loved my husband more than I ever thought possible before Kalia came along, and now I love him even more 

(Kalia, you have mushy parents who love each other & this will probably gross you out most of your life until you are much older & realize how blessed we all are)

Nick is an amazing father- and, like me, has no idea what he is doing. Together, we are in this for the long haul- the long journeyhood to be the best Mom & Dad to Kalia we could be. It is a bonding experience to be up at 4 am trying to figure out why she is crying and also comforting to know he has no clue what the answer is either.
I also am more annoyed at Nick than I ever have been, because it totally sucks being woken up at 4 am & Kalia is way too cute to yell at, so while figuring out what is wrong, we usually yell at each other discuss calmly what to do and always never blame each other.

P.S.   To My Miss Kalia- Happy First Birthday!  I love you more than anything, thank you for coming into my life! You are the only Kalia I will ever have and as the only Mom you will ever have, I will work relentlessly to be what you need me to be and help you achieve your goals.  I also promise to try and stop hitting your head into walls and doors.  Love, Your Mom

Hanging out at Yeah Write- Check it out for awesome posts!
Linked to Finding the Funny!
Mommy Brain Mixer

My First Blog on Mommy Reflections- I Speak With a Bad French Accent

Nursery DIY- Flashcard Art Including Free Printables List!



Supplies:
Thrifted Frame
Choice of Spray Paint
Flash Cards 
Galvanized Wire
Bulldog Clips or Mini Clothespins
Staple Gun

Frame:
Remove picture, backing etc from frame
Clean Frame
Spray paint chosen color

Placing Art:
Cut galvanized wire to fit frame
Measure the flash cards and measure distance needed between each line of wire
Use pencil and mark back of frame
Staple wire to frame
Clip on chosen arrangement of flashcards and you are done!

Some Notes:
Many sizes are available of wire, I used a thin wire (28 gauge)
Bulldog clips add a weight to the wire and will cause it to hang down, consider this in your measurements.



We have a french theme in Kalia's nursery, so I spelled LOVE YOU with these French vintage designed flashcards.
Kalia loves to point at the cards, I oblige (she has me trained well) and read the words to her- and she HYSTERICALLY laughs.  I say the words all silly and probably definitely wrong, and I think she knows and I suspect she is laughing AT me, not with me.  So I have to say, the French was a great choice for our family!

Free Nursery Art Printables!
The internet has a TON of free flash card printables from lovely blogs that are beautiful- and I did all the Googling and searching for you!

French Alphabet

French via Mr. Printables- They also have many other free flashcard printables


The Handmade Home- an adorable alphabet set!



ABC Flashcards using Biblical Imagery (lol, A for Adam is funny!)


I love this set done by Homemade By Jill! 



Vintage Designed ABC flashcards- amazing!


Sorry this set is NOT free, but these are SO awesome and I could not resist including! Pick up here!



Want to check out more of Kalia's nursery?
Project Nursery Gallery (I appreciate your rating if you are a member!)



Pinterest- One Pin At A Time Project Update!

Some of the little pins I have completed do not warrant an entire blog post, so here is an update on a couple completed pins on Pinterest!

Instagram shot of my new funnels!

Anthropologie funnels- 
I must admit this was an easy pin to complete! I first pinned the funnels 18 weeks ago and
I finally purchased them two weeks ago during Anthropologie's semi- annual sale!  So, lucky me- I got them for a sale price!




May Photo A Day- (attempt) 
If you follow along on the blog, I updated the May Instagram Challenge photo pictures weekly. I missed two days of the challenge, however! I started June and missed one day so far, so looks like June will fall under attempted pin.  But missing two is not bad for my first photo challenge!
Via FatMumSlim


Not a stain on it! (Sorry pic was on my camera phone, but it is sparkling white clean!)

Cleaning my Microwave-
This pin is life changing.  From the blogs Practically Functional & Crafty Little Gnome (who I am eternally grateful for and now may be in love with them), it is a method of cleaning your microwave in a few minutes.
Fill a microwave safe bowl with some water and vinegar, zap it for 5 minutes.  The steam created makes everything come off in a couple swipes.  I hate cleaning the microwave! Easiest trick ever!
My microwave will never be dirty again!

Follow me along on the Pinterest Project Board!

A Bubbly Life is on FacebookTwitter Pinterest & Instagram- I would love for you to join me there!

DIY Magnetic Chalkboard Frame


My magnetic chalkboard DIY project was done a couple years ago, before I had the blog, but I still took one Before Picture (with mirror out) as I was excited to compare the transformation. 




Materials-
Craigslist/Thrifted/Yard Sale Mirror 
Spay Primer
Spray Paint
Sheet Metal *
Sheet Metal Shears
Chalkboard Paint


 *Lowe's & Home Depot both only had a couple sizes of sheet metal, so before picking your frame you may want to confirm you can get a sheet that will fit.  If your frame is very large, they may not have your size.


Directions:
Remove hardware and mirror

Frame- 
Spray Primer on frame
Spray paint with your choice of color, since mine was black I needed a few coats

Cut the sheet metal to fit frame, it is very simple to cut the frame if you have the sheet metal sheers.

Prime the sheet to avoid rust.  Follow the directions on the chalkboard paint and paint the metal sheet (chalkboard paint has specific directions and it has been a couple years, so I do not remember, sorry!)

If you do not want the board to be magnetic you can forgo the metal sheet (keep the backing/art/mirror  to paint then!) 

Here are some of our uses:


Menus to make hubby drool when he gets home

I love writing menus down and pretending I'm like a real restaurant, haha!  Bonus points if you can figure out all I have written down- I cannot read what I wrote before prosciutto! The prize is my gratitude so do not get too excited ;)


My Favorite Use

I used to entertain a lot, so I nag ask people to write their names on board.  I upload the picture as the cover on the party album on Facebook and tag everyone.

It is always funny to see what people write.  The above picture is from my husband and I's birthday party- "Happy 41st Bday Nick" lol, he is not quite there yet.  It is a nice memory to have and was an unintended use for the board that I ended up loving!


Caprese

My caprese recipe! I have others photographed, but not written yet for the blog, but you will see the look more!

The board also is used for reminders- like "pick up milk" or I love you notes. (we will keep the mundane and mushy stuff to ourselves though :)

Upkeep-

For cleaning you need to scrub with water and soap.  I try not to leave chalk on it too long or I will notice a light fading.  I have read other bloggers repaint theirs' often, which is an option as well.  But I have found with scrubbing and not leaving the chalk on to long, that after two years, I have not needed to repaint.

Just recently, I discovered these Chalk Markers:

I love them! I always hated the powder of chalk and these go on smooth like a marker.  You can see the difference in the pictures, the last picture (caprese salad) was done with chalk markers, the others were not and are all powdery.

However, I have noticed that the writing is very difficult to remove, so I may have a repaint soon in future! Pick them up at Amazon or JoAnn's (my Michael's did not have it)

Please let me know if you have any questions and as usual, if you like what you see, I would love a pin and/or a comment!

*Amazon link is a referral link








Linked up to DIY Showoff   Show Me What you Got  Iheartnaptime  Sugar and dots  My Girlish Whims Show It Off Mondays  36th avenue
Sweet Little Gals Craft O Maniac

Project Sneak Peeks

I am swamped, so I am showing some sneak peeks of projects and soon to be posts for the blog!

Full time motherhood, part time work, redoing a dining set, Kalia's 1st birthday party plans, a husband who goes on vacation for work for two weeks during the incoming of molars AND fulfilling my weekly wine consumption quota is all keeping me plenty busy the past 2 weeks.

Good news though-  husband is back from his luxurious hotel stay 13 hour workdays and one molar is out, but the other molar is being an a-hole stubborn.

Thank you for listening, I know we are all very busy, but sometimes it just feels good to get it out!

Instagram shots, I told you I was busy!

1- Chair and some thrifted fabric- hmm what will that be used for...?
2- No, that is not blood drippings- it is a stupid spray can that sorta exploded on me!
3- Glitter, mod podge, glitter- need I say more?
4- Banner making- woot! (with glitter of course)

Have a lovely weekend everyone!  I know I will be catching up on some much needed family time!