Surprise.. I'm having a baby.

It has been eons since my last blog post, but I knew I couldn't post anything until it was safe to announce my pregnancy. I am officially in my second trimester now! I don't think I can truly express how happy I am about bringing a little one into the family. Last time I had the misfortune of having a miscarriage which was devastating. Now I am at the point in my pregnancy where the chance of miscarriage is greatly reduced.

The next few months my posts will be all about getting ready for baby and about life as a pregnant woman.

I am so excited!


Dresses Dresses & More Dresses

I really love dresses. If you do not believe me just look at my Pinterest board devoted to dresses. I have over 500 dresses pinned. I wish the weather in Portland was nice enough to wear dresses more often, but with the winter rain and wind it is hard to wear dress for most months of the year.

Temperley London | Ave Styles |  Maldonado Dress

 I absolutely love these three dresses. The colors and the patterns are so fabulous!

 Here are some comparable finds that I like just as much.

Will and Graceful Dress $97.99

Dolce Vita Ares Dress $109.99

Lea Dress $38.99


In The Kitchen: Cookbook Collection


I have a bazillion of them. No joke. 

I have about half that many cook books on my Amazon Wish List. 

It might be an obsession. Not sure.

You can tell a cookbook is truly loved when pages are worn or have water spots. Maybe there are traces of flower between the pages. Or notes in the margins.

I have several books that are still pristine. Not a single earmark in sight. No chocolate thumb prints. No love at all. 

Most avid cooks will have their list of cookbooks they swear by. I am no different.  I don't subscribe to any eating philosophy. I am not paleo, or vegan, or devout myself to the Mediterranean Diet. I am an equal opportunity eater and my recommended cookbooks will exemplify the diversity in my eating habits. 

Joy of Cooking: Some of my first experiences cooking came from this book. It had pretty much any recipe a 13 year girl could imagine. This book is a classic staple that belongs in every kitchen. 

Molto Italiano: I know I am probably the only person on the planet that does not really like Italian food. Spaghetti and meatballs. Not for me. Marinara sauce. Forget about it. However, my husband picked a recipe out of here to make for my birthday a couple of years ago and I didn't hate it. Gasp! As Italian cookbooks go this is the one to have. However some of the ingredients he uses may be hard to find in some communities.

Chevys Fresh Mex Cookbook: I would eat Mexican food and "Mexican" food everyday of my life if I could. No lies. Yes this book is from a restaurant that happens to have multiple locations throughout the United States, but don't knock it until you try it. Some people were upset that they don't provide all of the recipes in this book, but duh. They want to stay in the restaurant business of course they are going to keep a few house secrets. Some of these recipes can be tedious but your mouth will thank you for your patience.  

Pickles, Pigs & Whiskey: I actually bought this book for my husband for Christmas. However, I have been the one to actually try and make something from this book. I will say a lot of the recipes are on basics. Like how to make pickles or make a good chicken stock. Other recipes can be expensive to make because of the ingredient list. However, the food that comes from these recipes is amazing. I recently made their version of the chicken and dumplings recipe, which was anything but traditional with the ricotta spinach dumplings. Buy it now! 


Giving Feedback: Say Goodbye To The But Sandwich

If you are in any type of relationship you have at one point or another given feedback. You give feedback to your subordinates at work, you might give feedback to your friends, and you even give feedback to your significant other.

I can't tell you how many times people have suggested using the "compliment sandwich".  The compliment sandwich has been made extremely popular particularly in the media. It has been in Family Guy and Hart of Dixie.  Unfortunately it originated from actually practices in a work environment. I hate to break your heart but Family Guy did not invent the compliment sandwich....

Regardless of the origin, there is no place for the compliment sandwich when giving constructive feedback.

Dennis Morrow, my professor, really stressed to us that this is really a but (butt) sandwich. When you hear the compliment, you know the but is coming.... Putting another compliment after the but doesn't really help. It further diminishes the feedback. Giving someone a compliment sandwich is really anything but a compliment. To the listener it just sounds like you don't care.

Instead of the compliment sandwich, Dennis gave the class a really great feedback model. At first the model sounded really strange but after doing a demonstration in class it really made sense.  Again, I won't give the whole thing away as I really suggest people take his class.  No I am not getting paid to promote his classes, I just believe that they are that good!

We learned to identify the behavior or action we see. Followed by saying what we think the action means and how it makes us feel. This model can be used for positive feedback also. In class, I volunteered to do an example for everybody.  I also forced my friend to volunteer, whoops.

I said to Joe: When I see you actively listening, I assume that you care and this makes me feel encouraged.

For a criticism you could say: When I see you arriving late to work everyday for the past 7 days, I assume you do not understand the importance of being on time. This makes me feel concerned.

For your relationship you could say: When you forget to give me something for Valentine's day, I assume you are not thinking about me. This makes me feel hurt.

Isn't this such a novel idea. I am not sure how I will apply this to my professional life as different work environments use different forms of feedback. However, I can really see how using this in my personal life will be of great benefit.

Hopefully, he will tell us more about giving feedback next week.


Pretty Picks from Kate Spade

I remember when I was in college and having the Kate Spade Sam Tote was the "in" thing. The sorority girls would carry their books in it and maybe tie a cute little scarf around it for a pop of color. I remember how I felt when I bought my very own.

Right now it is snowing in the Portland area. I have never seen so much snow since I have lived here. Being stuck inside the house all day has not been fun. I do have a couple of really great coats for the winter but this Kate Spade Dorothy Coat is just too cute. With the $698 price tag, this kind of coat will have to wait.

I really do not need any more purses until I acquire a much larger closet. However, I have a hard time resisting anything with polka dots. The Cobble Hill- Little Minka Satchel would be the perfect addition to my closet.

Aside from this week of snow, it had been an unusually sunny winter in Portland. Once summer comes in about July I will need to wear sunnies all the time.  Because I have an extremely round face, it very hard for me to find sunglasses that actually look good.  I would need to go try them on but I really like these Amaras 55mm Sunglasses. They come in two colors but I really like the tortoise color the best.


Friday Favorites

I have so much to do I am not sure where I am going to start.  Instead of diving in,  I have done everything to avoid the work that needs to get done.

I even read short little book What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast: A Short Guide To Making Over Your Morning and Life by Laura Vanderkam. I wouldn't really call it a book more like a long essay. It was $2.99 on Amazon and was a pretty interesting read. 

It isn't part of my favorites list but it was an interesting read. Now on to my favorites of the week.

I belong to a CSA in which I receive a lot of carrots. I am not crazy about carrot, but I really love carrot cake. This Carrot Zucchini Bread recipe looks really tasty.

Update: I made this recipe and it super sweet. Sadly, I won't be making this again. 

I have started wearing a lot more dresses again. I would wear one everyday if it wasn't so rainy and windy in Portland, Oregon. Maybe the What City Should You Really Live In Quiz on BuzzFeed was right,  maybe I could live in LA. I could wear dresses more often. I really love these tights, they would look really good with so many dresses. 

Here are some more on etsy!

I am not very good at pulling together outfits, especially when it comes to layering. This outfit is so great. 

I would really love to go on a vacation. I would love to go somewhere warm. This place looks just right. 

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