Wednesday, March 31, 2010

17 days

17 days 'til due date, seems like the longest 17 days of my life! Not only am I so excited to meet our 'lil boy and finally see his face, I'm physically exhausted. Knowing that I've got a fully cooked baby in my belly makes the anticipation more difficult to handle. When I began to show signs that I would be carrying a pretty big belly- bigger than what I expected based on my small frame I instantly thought there is no way I would make it all the way to the due date. For some reason I felt the baby would come sooner because I just would not be able to handle it. Well as April 17 draws nearer I'm slowly realizing I might be wrong. Carmen our doula assures me time and time again- the baby will come when he is ready. I have great faith in nature and that calms me down. The only thing that I worry about is being induced by my doc, getting on Pitocin making it impossible to bear labor and then all the medical interventions that seem to come along with all that. I know these thoughts are not helping me at the moment- yes I'm well aware therefore I'm unto my next distraction...
What would it be today?

Check out the two photos above. It totally shows how priorities instantly change when a baby is involved. I had a beauty room most women dream of, with all my lovely shoes presented in its glory along with my purse collection. This photo was taken after I had my hair & make-up done the day of our wedding.
Truthfully it was not hard to give up. I knew I wanted a nice and cozy room for our 'lil one and so out with the beauty room and in comes Leon's nursery. For now I've been demoted to a 'lil corner where I have a small mirror and shabby lighting.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

As I'm sitting here at home waiting for our new grill to be delivered I came across these super adorable baby boy shoes. Where else but my favorite site

Check out JL Perillo's Etsy shop online here. I think Leon would be sporting a pair of these at some point.

On a completely unrelated note, my friend Elaina sent me a link to this site where I found this pee-your-pants funny video. I had to re-post it hoping to share the laughter I've been enjoying.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Last night was real rough... between my huge baby belly, about five bathroom trips and cramp-like sensations there was no way for me to get good sleep.
I refuse to stay still and wallow in discomfort so today is all about cleaning our home, laundry and baking some cookies. I definitely need some good distraction.

I have just enough stuff in the pantry to bake a yummy batch of "Hazelnut Choc-Chip Cookies." Chris loves these chewy and delicious treats!
I made a big batch of these as Christmas gifts to family and they were a hit. Thanks to Giada De Laurentis for the recipe!

Your grocery list:
  • 1/2c old fashioned oats
  • 2 1/4c all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1c unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 1c light brown sugar
  • 1c sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 4 oz english toffee candy, finely chopped
  • 1c hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
  • 1 12oz bag semisweet chocolate chips (or white chocolate if you prefer)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper.
Finely chop the oats in a food processor. Transfer the oats to a medium bowl and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat the sugars with the butter 'til fluffy. Beat eggs and vanilla. Add the flour mixture and stir until well combined. Stir in the toffee, chopped hazelnuts and chocolate chips.

For each cookie, drop 1 tablespoonful of dough 1" apart on the cookie sheet. Bake 'til golden - which takes about 10-15 minutes depending on your oven.

The cookies can be prepared one day ahead.
I normally store it in an airtight container so it could be enjoyed even a few days later. It's chewy on the inside and crisp around the edges- yum.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Schezuan Beef w/ Green Beans

An extremely simple dish perfect over steamed quinoa grain. Healthy and packed with protein.

I love this dish besides it packing in flavor and nutrients, it's totally affordable to make.

Your grocery list:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef (or ground turkey, even ground chicken would work well)
  • 1/2 lb fresh green beans, trim ends and cut into bite-size pieces
  • extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 3 tbsp Kikkoman soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp sweet chili garlic sauce (add more if you prefer spicy)
  • couple splashes of plum vinegar
  • 3 tbsp of hoisin sauce

While chopping the onion and the mincing the garlic, have a pot of water to boil and blanche the green beans only for 2-3 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Heat the oil in a wok or large pan. Saute onion 'til transparent and add the ground beef as soon as garlic becomes fragrant (which will be quick, don't let garlic brown).

Brown the beef, season with little salt 'n pepper to taste (note that sauces will add salt as well). Drop the blanched green beans into same pan, start adding all the sauces and turn flame to low.

Let all flavors combine and allow green beans to cook a bit more while making sure it stays crisp. Serve over quinoa grain or steamed rice.

Remember a good cook always tastes the dish before serving!


Friday, March 26, 2010


Perhaps because I did not expect that pregnancy could at times be lonely, I was caught by surprise to have to deal with some personal junk I've unknowingly carried around. Pre-pregnancy I had a notion that pregnant women are most times celebrated and that support is received from every direction. This has not been true in my case. Sure I get support from a few friends that I'm very close to but on the other hand, there's been a good amount of people who sort of disappeared. At times, I think to myself "Is this what happens when you become a parent? Were my single friends only hanging around me when I could hang out at the bar and have a drink? Did I stop being fun?" I guess this is the transition I hear people talk about. That when you embark on such a big life changing moment, everything changes including the scenery and the people you're surrounded with.
If not for Chris, I would be a mess trying to figure out why. I have to say that he truly has been my most solid source of support and love. We've gotten through a lot in the past but time and time again he reminds me that there's nothing we can't get through together.
In the beginning I used to feel so left out but now I have to admit that it's refreshing to know that the friends and family I have around at the moment are those that are sure to stay no matter what. Those are the people that matter the most to me anyhow.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


I've been all about frozen yogurt lately. Today it was mango and original swirl topped with fresh blueberries- for some mighty antioxidants, chewy mochi, yogurt chips, mini cheesecake bites and light caramel.

While I was savoring every spoonful of my yummy treat, a random kind man noticed me and commented that I look great for someone who looks ready to have a baby any time now. Then he went on saying he's a chiropractor and he has many pregnant clients. Of course, I politely said thanks accepting his compliment and then went back to focusing on my yummy cup of goodness.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Belly Bandit

I love going to my local Pump Station store here in L.A. They have all the great finds that moms use.
My recent purchase is the Belly Bandit which promises to tighten and shrink the tummy post pregnancy. Of course it has to be worn properly and tummy must be wrapped day and night for 6-8 weeks after delivery. We shall see how it works for me and I'll make sure to write a follow-up post about the results.
I found it funny that on the box it says "Jessica Alba's #2 secret for a fast post pregnancy slim down!" Now I wonder what her #1 secret is... maybe a personal trainer?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Snack time

So it is true... the last few weeks of pregnancy is when one is always hungry. I'm a bottomless pit! These are the kind of food I've been stuffing myself with in between actual meals.

Should there be a 'lil less guilt that I spread nutella and peanut butter on multi-grain crackers? I hope so.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Sophie la girafe

I have heard from many mommy friends that this adorable toy "Sophie the giraffe" works wonders in soothing and entertaining babies. When Chris and I were driving by The Right Start the other day, I immediately remembered that I saw Sophie there and that we had to have one too.

Sophie came in this cute box and inside is a small booklet that tells her story. She was born on 25th of May 1961. In those days the only animal toys available were farm animal or pet figures. One day in France, a certain Monsieur Rampeau came up with the idea of designing a giraffe. She was an immediate success and by simple word of mouth (which is how I heard about her) the little giraffe's fame spread. She is still "traditionally" produced as of today and is made from 100% natural rubber derived from the sap of the Hevea tree.

Great News!

I'm totally excited! Came from the doc today and discovered I'm 1cm dilated and cervix is softening at 37 weeks. Even though it's not a dramatic change, it's such a wonderful feeling to know my body is doing what it's supposed to. We're getting closer to the day we meet Leon. For the most part, I feel great although fatigue has been kicking in now more than ever. I'm staying positive and hopeful that everything will unfold as it should.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A 3D photo of Leon taken 20 weeks into my pregnancy. I have not had any recent photos since as clear as this one. I'm now going on 37 weeks and am completely filled with mixed emotions. I can't wait to see his 'lil face, I wonder if he has a full head of hair and I would love to smell his scent. His movements are growing stronger everyday which reminds me that we get to meet our son very soon.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cool Baby Mobile

The first time I saw this baby mobile was at my cousin's and I could not believe how entertained both her twins were. Each of the babies were in complete awe of this nifty but extremely simple baby mobile. It simply is genius.
It's called the Manhattan Toy Infant Stim-Mobile and it's available at Amazon for much less than the fancy rotating musical mobiles out there.
I literally took down a baby mobile that cost triple and replaced it with this one.
The trick is it features visual cards that directly face the baby when they are laying down. Each card has high contrast graphic images of bright colors and black & white. Along with it comes a wide array of other designs so that parent can replace the cards in case baby gets bored.

I hand made a baby mobile that now hangs above the changing table. To match the bird theme we have going on in the nursery, it originally had small birds dangling. Since the new mobile came with extra graphic cards, I cut off the birds and attached each of the graphic cards instead.

I'm very excited to see how Leon responds to it!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy Birthday Bubba!

As with almost all good steak places, it was dimly lit and so my Iphone struggled to take clear's a couple of pics that are somewhat passable.
Last night was so lovely in L.A.
Chris and I could not help but again and again confirm that nothing beats the weather here. There are quite a few moments when the town and the people get to us but in the end we stay and have made L.A. our home.
Had an amazing dinner at Ruth's Chris Steakhouse and left with happy and full bellies. I would have loved to throw a big birthday bash for Chris but the contractions have been coming and going... it feels like we'll have our baby any day.

Happy birthday to my sweet husband! I love you.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Jamie Oliver's message

It's no secret... I love to cook. In our home most if not almost all meals are made from scratch. In fact, even when we fell in love with the house we purchased it was the kitchen that played a big role. I knew an ideal kitchen for me would be one that opens up to the living room. I can be with my friends and family while whipping up meals for us to enjoy. I know such is not the case for the rest of the country. Most people are too busy to be bothered to cook or simply assume that cooking would be more costly. Truth is cooking is so easy and I truly believe that anyone can cook. The simplest dishes made up of very few fresh ingredients are the best by far and inexpensive. Let's get cookin people!
I came across this video and would like to share it here. I totally support Jamie Oliver's message and I hope that his word continues to spread.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Leon's Nursery

Presenting... Leon's nursery!
Pre pregnancy I would have never thought that I would get so much pleasure from putting a baby nursery together. As the days went by and the closer I got to our due date it's as if a switched turned on and I was on get-the-nursery-ready mode.
I did my best to keep the decor as neutral as possible since I've never been too fond of blue. The main color is a light almost powdery green. One of our good friends commented that the room lacks super heroes and trucks but Chris and I have always been more of the artistic types rather than action adventure fans.
The framed art on the wall and the birds hovering are from
Chris painted the birch trees on the accent wall behind the crib and both crib and co-sleeper we bought used from Craigslist. Slightly used and half the price- total winner!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Our Doula

Carmen Thomas-Paris and I at 35 weeks into my pregnancy. I feel so blessed to have the support of such an intuitive and caring soul. Carmen is based in L.A. and does it all... a yoga instructor, a massage therapist, a birth doula and a mom.

With the help of Carmen we're creating a birth wish list while keeping in mind that anything can happen and none of the experience can be planned. All I truly hope for is a safe delivery and the closest to a natural experience as I can possibly have.

Click here to find more about Carmen.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I call him "BUBBS"

Since this is a fresh new blog about us- The Cherubini's as a family, I'm taking the time to make special mention of each member.
This photo of my husband Chris- was taken on our wedding day. We had an intimate civil wedding on October 24, 2009. We followed it up with a small gathering at our home with immediate family and closest friends. It was perfect!
I grew up witnessing huge elaborate weddings and I just knew that our style would be as laid-back as can be.

I'm so proud to have Chris in my life and I'm so grateful to have a partner who truly sees me.
I remember meeting him the first time 3 years ago and walking away feeling so amazed to have had such a meaningful and connected conversation. Everything else grew from that initial impression and to this day he is the one person I can be completely transparent with- not that I can hide anything from him anyhow. He reads me so well!

He is also the most talented and artistic person I know. He is a self taught musician who plays the guitar, piano and the cello. Not to mention he is also an artist who paints and sketches. I'll make sure to post some of his artwork here at some point.

My favorite photo of us from that day. It pretty much sums it all!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


I met Lucy in 2003 at her breeder's home in Altadena, CA. That day I drove from work thinking "yeah, I'll just take a look at these puppies" not knowing that as soon as I lay eyes on her, I knew I would not leave without her. She was 4 months old then and this coming March 18, my girl will be turning 7 years old.
Having her changed my life. I learned that caring for another being other than myself is so much more rewarding. All of a sudden I had a more important purpose.
Lucy has been with me through ups and downs, never judged me and continue to give me- and now even my husband Chris, the most unconditional love.
I'm not sure exactly how she will be with our coming baby Leon- but one thing I know is that I'll definitely enjoy seeing them get to know each other as time goes by.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Baby Shower for Leon

Chris and I figured it would be a while after we have Leon before we host a party so we went all out for our baby shower. We had about 60 guests, good friends and family celebrate with us on February 20, 2010 at our home. It was truly a lot of fun. We were all too busy mingling so no one was in charge of photography. Thanks to my sister Pia who took the liberty of shooting a video. Here it is....

Thanks to everyone who made this day very special. My heart is so happy that Leon will be surrounded with such amazing people.