Thursday, May 16, 2013

Summer time salad!

This recipe has quickly become a family favorite! It is versatile, easy to make and even better, light on the pocket (and waist)! Potato salad is so dicey when it comes to, let's be honest, anything, and especially when it comes to the heat. That is usually a surefire dish that I skip when it comes to any picnic or potluck. No one knows how long it's been out, plus the nutritional value is out of the window. Now it's just an emotional mess! Check out this recipe that is a definite crowd pleaser! Taboule Salad recipe

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Sweet tooth!

A few weeks ago I went to The Sweet Lobby with my sister Wensa. It was such a cute and chic looking bakery and the sweets were great! The Sweet Lobby was the winner of Food Networks "Cupcake Wars" and rightfully so! With way more than just cupcakes to offer, The Sweet Lobby is definitely a step ahead of the rest! Read my review to see just why this boutique bakery is a winner! Review: The Sweet Lobby 


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day!

What a day! I was telling my husband earlier that it's so weird to be now celebrating Mother's Day not only as a daughter to my mother, but as a mother to my daughter! I wouldn't have it any other way. It's such a special feeling to be recognized on a beautiful Sunday every year from the ones you care for the most. Mother's are truly superhero's and at the end of some days (or the beginnings of some early mornings), I even surprise myself!
Growing up, my mom did EVERYTHING!  From cooking breakfast for us early before school, to dropping us off to school when the weather was bad, or waiting with us at the bus stop, parent teacher conferences, delicious homemade Haitian meals for dinner every single day, staying up with us when we were sick, getting us medicine/last minute doctor appointments, dropping off our projects to school so we didn't have to carry them around, shopping with all three of us for back to school clothes, making every choir concert, track meet, baseball/softball game, signing consent forms or detentions and standing up for us when we needed it. Even as an adult, once I had Ava, she came over every single day to help me, from laundry to dishes to making sure I got a nap in during the day.
Now that I have a child of my own, I can see the daily sacrifices seen and unseen that are made. And a lot of the time, they go unnoticed because it just seems "normal". In all honesty there are days when I feel like I am at my wits end and just want to lock myself in my room, but I can't because no matter how trying,  tiring, frustrating, and repetitive motherhood gets, this is what I prayed for and as soon as we put Ava down to bed, I miss her and I'm ready to do it all over again the next day!
For every unexpected late night, boo boo kiss, fever reducing snuggles, meal cooked, tear soaked shoulder, snotty nose wipe, tummy ache, hospital visit, made up bed time story, make believe role play, pooped stained surprises, emergency outfit change, nursery rhyme sing along, Umizoomi marathon, or crumbled cookie found on the bottom of your purse, you are amazing!
Cheers to mother's all over the world from birth mothers to step mothers to guardians, to role models, you are loved and appreciated! Happy Mother's Day! And a very special first-time Happy Mother's Day to my big sister Wensa! God is love.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

May 4th

Most peoples favorite time of year is Thanksgiving or Christmas, some people even love Halloween; but yesterday was May 4th, and that is one of my favorite days. Being from Kentucky, a lot of people might automatically assume Derby, although I love the hats and festvities surrounding said Derby, that's not why I love May 4th so much. It's my daughters birthday on May 4th! This day serves as a reminder to me how AMAZING the God we serve is. It's almost as if He serves us.
About eight years ago, I became the survivor of a brutal rape that ended up making doctors and tests believe that me bearing children was a no go. Upon this news I was so hurt, angry, but mostly confused as to why I was so sure that I was going to be a mother one day. My whole life the "someday, when I have kids"  comments selfishly passed through my lips countless times. Now, I was stuck with the harsh "reality" that someday may never come.
I even went as far as giving my husband (fiance at the time) an out because I didn't want someone resenting me for the fact that I cannot give them something (or someone) that they too had always dreamed of. He flat out told me "no". So that was that, we would get married and not have kids.
As time went by, we would hypothetically talk about our kids, what we would do in certain situations, what would we say in particular times of their formidable years. But way deep down inside, I really did still think I was going to have a child one day. I still held on to the fact that science was telling us otherwise,  and to not get my hopes up, I went with it, I was being "realistic".
People would ask us when we were going to start our family,  and I'd always act like I wasn't ready for kids yet in fear of the truth. Then after confiding in my friend Lauren, (we were not BFF's at this point) she pretty much told me she not only didn't believe me, but she felt strongly in her spirit that I would be pregnant and soon. As "out on a limb" as I thought her words were, it was one of those situations where I needed someone to stand in the gap and intercede for me. She felt strongly about her faith and what God could do, so I felt strongly not only in God,  but also in her.
Not two months later did I take a pregnancy test because the night before, I had a vivid dream that I took a positive test. Sure enough,  I took a test on a Saturday morning and you guessed it, positive!  I was beyond myself, at first I didn't  even believe it! There I was all alone in my bathroom hunched in a corner with this positive pregnancy test and the directions, just for reassurance.
Telling Nate was fun and (after a few more "just to make sure" tests) he was elated! We both walked around the rest of that day and thereafter on a euphoric cloud! Doctor appointments not only confirmed the pregnancy,  but allowed us our first ultrasound to witness such a miracle. We were able to use those ultrasound pictures to surprise family and friends with the news!
After nine and some change months, aversion to any type of meat, pitted edema, and sleeping with an added third party; a bed buddy, Ava was born at 5:07am on May 4, 2010. She has challenged me since day one and is the most intuitive child you'll ever meet. She speaks her mind and speaks to EVERYONE she sees. She has unlimited energy, a big heart and an even bigger brain.  I am aware on a daily basis that not only her, but every child is a well planned,  carefully thought out gift from God and are here as a reminder to us that life is so much bigger than what we make of it, and if for nothing or no-one else, we all must try our very best for them.
We celebrated Ava's 3rd birthday this past weekend,  and look forward to many more! For in these past three years, I've learned more about life through the clear lense of a child than I have in anything else, and let me say, what a view! Cheers to Ava and Praise be to God. Keep that dream alive, whatever it is! God is love.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Ramen for grown-ups?

Yes. You read correctly. I have (as many of us have) definitely had my stint with Ramen in my lifetime. That was one of the first things that I independently learned how to "cook". Trust me, I really thought I was doing something! But as time passed and my palete grew, that wasn't a dish that I frequented much.  So when my sister, Wensa told me about Toki Underground,  her exact words were;  "it's a Ramen noodle restaurant. " I immediately became intrigued.  I thought to myself; "surely not the Ramen we came to know and love? An actual restaurant that serves that?" Well, the answer is a bit tricky, it's both yes and no. Read my review to see my experience at this "Ramen restaurant". Toki Underground Review