Being a new mom means all night feedings. There's just no way around it. But the most amazing thing, is that no matter how long the night seems, and no matter how hopelessly of a failure I feel, the morning always comes! There's something so reasurring about the sun rising every single morning, especially after a long night. It speaks to me of hope, and God's everlasting faithfulness.

It also tells me that Samuel will probably sleep a lot more, now that the sun is up.



Today I am officially thirty-six weeks pregnant. This is kind of a milestone. I'm officially "full term", meaning, if I go into labor they won't stop me, because the baby will more than likely be born perfectly health and strong.

I'm not really in a rush for this little guy to get here though...This weekend Fernando and I are getting away to Naples, and I've been looking forward to it for so long! Then next weekend is my second baby shower, and there are still a few things I need (sort of). So, there's no need for baby F to make an early arrival...I wouldn't mind him to come on his due date - or there about.

I'm feeling good - my cough is gone! **Hallelujah!** And this is my last week of work.
I do have some projects lined up for myself so I don't go crazy just sitting around waiting to pop.
I'm really excited about cooking meals I can freeze! Most of the meals I found online were pasta meals, which isn't bad, because I'm Italian and I could eat pasta probably every day of my life - maybe. But I need diversity and health, so I've tried to be a little creative. For example, I'm going to grill some chicken breasts and cut them into strips and freeze them so I can pop them into chicken quesadillas, or throw them on a salad. I'm also making some turkey meatloaf - nice, lean meat with plenty of protein. I got a recipe for Multi-grain waffles that looks amazing and they can be frozen after they are cooked. Yum.

Other than cooking meals, I plan to swim (hopefully every day), get together some fun baby/kid music on a playlist, and gather any last minute items I may need.

I'm really encouraged by how great I feel - still have good energy, I'm in really good spirits, and I don't feel nervous. I'm sure that will come, but for now 36 weeks is looking pretty good!

Oh, and this has nothing to do with anything, but here's a picture of all the bridesmaids at my sister's wedding.

I was 33.5 wks then.


Bake. bake. bake.

Even though I've been sick still, I just couldn't resist the urge to bake any longer.
So, today I made a mixed berry pie - although it came out a little more juicy than I would have liked, it tastes ah-mazing. The crust came out so good - best I've ever made.

I still kind of want to make some cupcakes, but that'll have to wait for next month. I'm low on eggs, and have to ration them out to last me until my next grocery run.

Here is the recipe for the mixed berry pie:

Mixed Berry Pie

pâte brisée for 2 rounds crust
2 cups Blueberries, picked over and rinsed
3 cups Strawberries, roughly chopped
1 cup Blackberries (you can use any berries you want)
3/4 cups sugar, plus some for sprinkling top
2 tablespoons flour, plus some for rolling the dough
2 tablespoons cornstarch
zest of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
On a lightly floured surface, roll out half the dough, 1/8-inch thick, to fit a 9-inch pie pan. Chill the shell while assembling the filling.

In a large bowl, combine the blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, sugar, flour, cornstarch, lemon zest, cinnamon and ginger. Stir until well combined. Remove the pie shell from the refrigerator and pour in the fruit mixture.

Roll out the other half of the dough on a lightly flour surfaced. Cut into strips to make a lattice topping. Arrange the dough into a lattice pattern. Crimp the edges. Sprinkle sugar over the top.

Bake the pie at 425 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and place foil over the edges because they will be browning lightly. (I just moved my pie to the bottom rack) Reduce the temperature of the oven to 375 degrees. Let bake for an additional 35-40 minutes until the crust is golden and the fruit filling has started to bubble. Best served with vanilla ice cream.

Recipe from My Life As a Reluctant Housewife blog.

Oh, and don't ask me where that large missing piece is...neither Fernando, baby F, nor I, know anything about that.



I'm sick. Not sick of being pregnant (well...maybe a little), no, I'm sick-sick. Throat on fire, head feels packed with junk, coughing-coughing-coughing. I feel bad for baby F...my coughs are strong and they probably rock his world - literally.

This weekend was fun though. I was only just starting to get sick on Saturday - so Fernando and I enjoyed the most wonderful day driving around some beautiful neighborhoods in Coral Gables looking for garage sales. But we slept in so late that we only found two, and there was nothing in either that enticed us. Then we headed over to Coco Walk and had an amazing lunch at Greenstreet - this amazing fresh food, outdoor, cafe/bistro. We snacked on hummus and sipped a mango smoothie, then dug into some ginormous salads. The day was gorgeous and it couldn't have been a more relaxing way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Now it's Monday. (boooooo)
My house is in need of some deep scrubbing and sudsing - as well as my car. I want to get this cleaning done - I really do! But the constant coughing exhausts me! So, we'll see what I end up getting done...although I do have a great motivation, last night I watched Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, and this guy had a disease that weakens all his muscles and he can barely talk, but only missed one football practice all season (he's a highschool football coach). So, that makes me think if he can do it, I can certainly scrounge up the necessary energy to scrub the home and car today- even while making a baby and fighting a sickness.

Here's to restful weekends, and charging the hill of life come Monday morning.


Six Weeks

That's all that stands between life as I know it, and life with a child. My child. My first child.

I know I'm not ready, and that kind of freaks me out, but I also know that I'll never be ready, and I just have to learn as I go, and I'm ok with that.

I'm resurrecting this blog because I want to remember this time. I want to take moments and record them. It takes time, and I'm not very disciplined at documenting life, but I have to at least try.

So, how am I feeling right now? Big. No, make that GINORMOUS. I've gained 30lbs...30lbs!!! I know why too...because I've eaten like a fatty. I am hungry more often because of the pregnancy, but I haven't made good choices when that hunger has come upon me. Sour gummy worms, ice cream sandwiches, a whole sleeve of Toll House crackers in one sitting!!! Today begins my cleansing, purging, get your act together woman! eating phase. Yes, I only have 6 more weeks, and yes, the damage has probably already been done, but if I don't get it together now, I have a feeling this could easily turn into life-long eating habits, and I can't...I just can't.

Other than feeling huge, I am feeling that mixture of 'freak out' and calm. Mostly calm, which is good. I packed my baby bag last night, boy was that crazy! picking out the first little onesie my son will wear in his life :) Packing tiny diapers and a little cap.

I'm glad pregnancy takes 40 weeks...something this big, has to hit you in tiny waves or it will just knock you over completely.



I love food, and I love taking pictures of food.
I am trying to eat more healthy, but, I'm finding out that eating healthy takes creativity.

Here are some creative meals I've made recently.

Hearty Beef Stew - stocked with yummy veggies! I love adding pumpernickel bread and fresh butter on the side.


Plus this...

Equals this!

And finally, my first attempt at homemade butternut squash soup and baguettes topped with balsamic tomatoes and mozarella cheese.


The Haggard's Tragedy

Recently there have been a myriad of interviews on TV with Gayle Haggard. She is the wife of well known pastor Ted Haggard who, some years back, was found to have been mixed up in drugs and homosexual infidelity. She just put out a book called "Why I Stayed". Although I am glad that she stayed with her husband, and it seems they have worked things out, I did not hear anything in the two interviews I saw (I'm not following this story, it just so happened that I turned on the tv yesterday and today, right as they were interviewing Gayle) there was no mention of the Lord, or God's grace, forgiveness, or help. I found this to be disappointing and confusing. I suppose there is a way for a woman to stick with her husband through very difficult days without the help of the Lord, but I would imagine their faith had to have something to do with the outcome of this tragedy. I am sorry that the Haggards are not giving God any glory for their restoration on either of the two very public interviews that I saw (Oprah & The Today Show). There is a YouTube video from Gayle where she does mention God, but in their interview with Oprah they credited her deep love for her husband and therapy as the two factors that have helped them get through this difficulty in their marriage. What a waste of such a public platform. I hope they don't truly believe that love and therapy are really what saved them - that, in my mind, would be their biggest tragedy.


Princess Pea Cupcakery

Here I go...stepping out into uncertainty.
Going for my passion - feeling completely clueless.
Will this work?
I'm gonna make a try.

Baby steps...

I introduce to you:
Princess Pea Cupcakery

My very own buisness.
Designing custom dessert tables, baking and hand crafting the most scrumptious and beautiful desserts. Making events just THAT much more beautiful.

If you have some time, I'd love to hear your thoughts on my infant website and blog.



Getting Ready...

I have my first REAL Princess Pea Cupcakery dessert table this Saturday!
Here's a look at all the preparations.



I take pictures with my iphone, then I turn them into polariods.



We'll be there in 2 weeks - I can hardly believe it. We haven't even started planning yet. We know we want to go to Ephesus, I'd love to go to one of the greek islands, obviously the blue mosque.

Anyone have any reccomendations? We'll be in Istanbul for 10 days.

I really can't wait!
(although I can, because it's only 2 weeks away and I have a ton of stuff to do before then...but, you know what I mean)



The beautiful ladies at Barton G's

We had a great time.
The best part...I get to see my sister-in-law again - in Turkey - in 2 weeks!


Inspired by...

plum and gray...



Wrong Place - Right Place

It feels like the wrong place, but It's the place I'm at right now.
So, it's the right place...?

For now.

But what if I never move on - what if this is the place I stay at forever?

Oh don't mind me...just still wretsling through contentment.




What makes us content? That happy, sleeping baby with a full belly of food, and warm arms of love around - content.

I've always heard it's not your circumstances that make you content, but contentment comes from within. When I look within, I see nothing but the deepest of unfulfilled desires. So, there has to be something, bigger than myself, that can bring me contentment.

And then I think - do I really want to be content? Or do I want to always have that hunger for something more? Isn't that hunger what pushes us to change things, to grow, to be active?

I'm not content with my skill level I am pushed to practice harder. I am not content with the fact that there are children being abused, I want to adopt and love one.

Where is the line between always being a gumpy, discontented person, and being a driven, ambitious, active person who's always reaching for more?

I think I find the difference between mrs. grumpy pants and mrs. busy-bee in the knowledge that although what we do here on this earth, and acomplish in our lifetime is important, it is not of first importance. All the world is passing away.
The only thing that is eternal is God.
The only thing that is good is God.
All that we do that is productive, beautiful, inspired, and practical is from God and should be for God.

So, I can try to change the things in my life that aren't right, but they won't make me grumpy, they aren't of first importance. I am free to have them drive me to work hard and grow, because I know a day is comming soon, when He will put all to right.

I'll leave Mrs. Grumpy Pants at home today.


This was us...


On our actual wedding day, I kept thinking "this is supposed to be the happiest day of my life" and I have to say, at the end of it, although it was an INCREDIBLY happy day, I wasn't sure if it was really the happiest day of my life...I mean, that's a lot to live up to.

But now, 2 years later, I have to say that our wedding day WAS the happiest day of my life, because it was the entrace point to a whole world of happy. Not always the smiling, laughing, warm feelings happy, but catching each other's eye when someone inadvertantly reminds us of an inside joke happy, laying on the couch together and crying after a miscarriage happy, thinking of each other in the middle of a crazy day and just sending an "xoxo" text happy, being so angry at each other but knowing that there's no one I'd rather be angry with happy.

Yes, July 7, 2007 WAS the happiest day of my life, because it was the day he married me, and I will forever feel amazed and undeserving to be his wife.



I just got an iphone last week - the regular 3G. Here are a few of my favorite apps:


This app is for grocery shopping, and what I love about it is:

1) I don't have to deal with little shopping list papers that either get lost, or litter my purse and drive me crazy.

2) I can put prices for each item, so eventurally even before I go to the store, I know what my grocery bill will be (more or less). This helps when you're on a budget (or starting a business that involves baking, as I am). You can even make a note of what the prices were at different stores for comparison shopping.


You know when someone makes you a mix CD, and you love some of the songs but have no idea who sings them, and you feel embarrassed to ask your friend, because then you'll look like a music looser? Enter Shazam. You put your phone up to the speaker and play the song for Shazam and Shazam tells you the song name, who sings it, and what album it's on.

So now, when I import my mix CDs in itunes - I can name the songs instead of importing them as "track 1, track 2, ...."


Sometimes, life is hard. When I'm going through rough stuff, it seems like all I can see are my problems. I've found that the simple act of writing down five things I am grateful for each day really helps.

Not only that, but as I journal my five things each day, over time I can look back at the days and weeks that have passed and see the blessings multiply - even if its just a hug from a friend, writing it down and recording it shows me how beautiful my life is.

Hello Vino

I know this is kind of like cheating, but for those of us who are still relatively new to wine drinking, this app rocks! Basically you tell it what kind of food you are eating, and it will recommend a wine type (like Cabernet, Merlot, etc.) and then it will recommend different labels.

You can also sort by occasion, taste and style, or country and region. Think of it as your own personal wine tutor.

Around Me

Last, but certainly not least, Around Me is a great app that will find anything around you (duh!)- a grocery store, a bank, restaurants, bars, coffee shops, hospitals, hotels, gas stations, etc. You can also search for a particular gas station, grocery store, etc. and it will search the area around you to find where the nearest one is.


As I said before, I only got my iphone a week ago - so if there are any great apps you can't live without, let me know!


*Happy Dance Time*

We're moving offices so all my stuff is packed, I have nothing but my computer and phone on my desk. Not much work is getting done the rest of the day, but that's ok, becuase I have a new toy to play with.

Happy dance time indeed.


Turning a New Leaf

This weekend I celebrated my birthday.

Coincidentally I also got a replacement for my dear, dear little "Preci"
She was given to me when I desperately needed a car to get to school and I've been so blessed to have her...but the time has come...

So, we went to the dealer on Saturday and brought home this little beauty. I call her "Ellie" (I give my cars names, and personalities...and yes, I had imaginary friends when I was a kid)

We were totally blessed with this car, Fernando did an awesome job negotiating the price. I'm just happy I can drive without worrying that I will be left stranded on a random street corner, or in the middle of the highway (both true stories). This is the first car I've ever owned that has been less than 12 years old - I feel like I'm driving a super futureistic space shuttle or something.

So begins a new year of life, with a new car.



I'm not a good photographer, and I don't come out well in pictures, basically the camera and I are not good friends...but here are some of my favorite people who can work magic with photos and it makes my heart happy everytime I see their work. Some of them I know personally, I wish I could meet them all! Enjoy:

Stephanie Pino (My little sis): she's just starting out in photography, but I can see her sweet personality come out in her photos, and I love watching her grow through each photo shoot.
Stephanie's flickr

Here's a photo she took of Fernando and I for Valentines day

Studio222: So, I logged on to my facebook, not realizing it automatically logged into my husband's. I click on the photos tab (because that's my favorite part of facebook) and I see some photos from "Rebecca Knight" and they look REALLY good - I'm like wow - this girl has tallent, only to find out she's started her own business of wedding photography: Studio222
Studio222 blog

And she love shoes!

Gabrielle Kai Photography: I found Gabrielle Kai from decor8 website and fell hard for her beautiful photographs. They transport me out of crazy, loud, fast-paced Miami. She makes the every day things of life beautiful treasures. It is such a joy to look at her photos. If the Lord gives us a baby girl - those prints are going to be up all over her little nursery.
Gabrielle Kai's Website

I love it that she's a mother - and it comes out in her photos!

Bobby Earl: I found Bobby Earl through Studio222's blog and had to tell my husband about him right away. First of all Bobby and his wife Lindsay have one of the most beautiful relationships, which is always refreshing. Second - Bobby loves to travel and goes to some of the most beautiful and interesting places in the world. His style in photography rocks!
Bobby Earl Blog

Bobby and Lindsay in Africa - What?!

Jenny James: So, Jenny James has done some event photography for Sovereign Grace Ministries and that's how I heard about her. The photography she does is so beautiful and fun - you can tell she doesn't take herself too seriously, but she has an amazing eye for unique shots that really thrill me. I wish I could wax all technical on why her photos are so good, but all I can say is that they just make me happy.
Jenny James website

Love that scarf!

Jewel Peach: Jewel is a good friend of mine, and she is one of the most unique, fun and beautiful people that I know. Her personality is so out there, and some of her pictures are too :) but they are full of emotion and life. I love her heart for children and missions. I know God is going to use her and Jason to bless a lot of people and I can't wait to meet their new baby in January!
Jewel's flickr

My drama queen