Nourishing Zen

Nourishing YOU. Adventures to Healthy, Happy, and a Fulfilling Life! Food is our medicine.

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Save Some $$$ – Make Your Own Pouches for Your Baby/Toddler!

The food pouches you buy at the store can be  so expensive especially when you have a very hungry toddler like we do! These pouches can be anywhere from 1 to 3 dollars each! So, it really helps to be able to make our own! We often buy organic fruits or veggies that are frozen to help cut down on costs as well. We also have reusable (BPA Etc. free) pouches that you can put in the dishwasher to clean! 

For the pouches above I used two medium sized sweet potatoes, one large pear and one large apple. Steamed them, blended, then used the Infantino Squeeze Station to make the pouches! Easy!

And of course our little guy loved them!


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Adventures in Motherhood: Part 6

Wow. And I just keep going!

81.  You think sleep training is bad once… you’ll probably have to do it more than once if you go on vacation, baby gets sick or something else jogs the routine. Yeah. Not fun. 

82. Once the baby is mobile, he or she will have lots of bumps and bruises. They’re just unstable. And curious. Bad combo. 

83. Nothing is safe. Even baby proofed drawers etc. 

84.  Husbands will just never understand. Period. They can try. But they just never fully will. Why? They didn’t grow a human in their belly for close to 10 months. They didn’t push something way bigger than the opening that it came out of. They don’t have an automatic food source built into their bodies. They can’t help it. 

85.  Boys are thrashers. They bang everything against anything and throw everything they can get their hands on, on the floor. 

86.  As a mom, you will get beat up. Pinched, poked, hit, pushed, bruised, hair pulled, slapped and head butted. I look like I’ve been in a fight every day. 

87.  When your kid is sick and he’s absolutely miserable, which makes you exhausted, and people say… “it’s good for his immune system” you’re going to want to mentally slap them in the face a few times. Yes I know it’s good to build an immune system but you’re not the one dealing with a sick, uncomfortable, unhappy, fussy kid!!

88.  My son puts everything in his mouth. Everything. Paper, dirt, rocks, diapers, cardboard… everything. It’s normal I guess?

89.  When they start walking it’s good because they are more independent but bad because they’re constantly falling down and bumping their bodies against everything. Which means more bruises and injuries. I swear he gives me a heart attack every five minutes. 

90.  Tantrums start early. Brace yourself. 
Until next time! 

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Adventures in Motherhood: Part 5

Wow! Can’t believe I made it to part 5!! Well here I go… stuff I’ve realized, learned, was totally surprised by, or needed to reiterate!

62.  There’s a new kind of tired in town… it’s called parenthood. Get your coffee. It never… ever… goes away. 

63.  As a mom, you will hear every tiny sound your baby makes. Your husband, can and will sleep through e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. Literally. 

64. It no longer matters what time you feel like having an adult beverage. Motherhood can drive you insane some days and sometimes taking the edge off is not a bad idea. 

65.  I’m pretty sure babies know when you’re about to lose your mind. Because then they finally do whatever you wanted RIGHT before… like nap for longer than 5 minutes or not wake up as much at night! 

66.  I could stare at my son sleeping forever.  And not in a creepy way of course. 😉

67.  Baby steps. For. Everything… progress, learning something new, a new skill, training/creating new habits, breaking old habits etc. 

68.  Two steps forward. One step back. Every time. You make total progress, then they regress a little and test the waters… and repeat.  I’m pretty sure that’s close to the definition of insanity. 

69.  There is no right answer. And it will drive you nuts. 

70.  Overthinking things will also drive you bananas. 

71.  Consistency is key. Being consistent is important but things will never, ever be consistent. What does this mean? Stick with your routines, use the same verbiage, support and reassurance. But things are ever-changing with babies. 

72.  You’re not alone. Even though you may feel so frustrated, lost, sad, exhausted, and defeated… you are not alone. 

73.  Baby giggles cure all. 

74.  A break without the baby is never a true break for moms. When you get a free moment you’re trying to play catch up – do laundry, dishes, clean, prepare for the next day, make dinner etc. Moms never seem to get breaks. 

75.  Do what feels right. You can read 1 million articles and they can tell you a different thing each time, but in the end, you just need to do what’s right for you. If you are doing what is supposed to be right according to 10 other people, but yet are feeling completely exhausted, defeated, and your gut tells you this isn’t what you’re supposed to be doing, then it isn’t what you’re supposed to be doing.  There’s no use and having a baby that was unhappy and a mommy that is in tears all the time. 

76.  The dynamic with your {single, married without kids, married but trying} friends will change. That and even those friendships with those that have kids but have different perspectives and parenting styles will change. It gets messy, folks. 

77.  When your child becomes mobile it is a blessing and a curse. It’s awesome they can occupy themselves more independently, tire themselves out, and move to what they want to move to. But, they get into everything. Everything. Nothing is safe anymore and you better get baby proofing if this is the case!

78.  Dads get the best behavior. Moms get the totally unguarded behavior. What do I mean by this? Babies let their guard down more with mommy. With daddy it’s often fun and play time because if the dad is working, they don’t spend as much time together.  Also… the fact that their food source is built into mommy definitely doesn’t help sometimes. 

79.  Having three dogs and a baby is a blessing and a curse. The dogs are protective and the baby gets used to being around animals… but the dogs can be overly protective and also bark at anything and everything. Oh and the amount of fur everywhere is insane. 

80.  Almost eight months later you’ll still be losing hair. I swear I’m going to be bald with how much I’m losing. 
I think this is a good place to stop for now. 😉Thanks for reading and to be continued…! 

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Adventures of Motherhood: Part 4

More fun stuff I’ve learned, realized etc. in motherhood. 😃

38.  Starting solid foods does not mean that your baby will sleep better at night.

39. Being female, and having a boy as your first, there are many things that raise questions. Such as, him exploring his parts!

40.  Even when their babies start sleeping through the night or sleeping longer stretches, you still will wake up! Is he breathing? Is the room too hot? Is the room too cold? You will still wake up. 

41. Nap training is FAR worse than bedtime sleep training. Especially if you have a baby that doesn’t want to miss out on anything! And has major FOMO!

42.  Transitioning to something new is absolutely awful. I’m sure it is relative but in my experience it is not so fun. It is always a difficult task abandoning something that works and guarantees you success…for something totally new and not seeing any results for days if not weeks! It’s rough. 

43.  You may be tempted to have a glass of wine or a beer at 11am some days. 

44.  Babies are smart. They understand more than you think. 

45.  Watching your baby learn how to mimic, talk, roll over is the most awesome thing ever. 

46.  Seeing your baby’s soft spot pulse is really creepy. 

47.  Once you start solids, the poop 💩 becomes quite colorful and fragrant. 

48.  Remind yourself to drink water and eat.  Better yet, set a timer on your phone. 

49. It’s kind of amazing how much gas babies have. 

50.  People will keep telling you “It’s going to get better/easier!”   But really, it just gets difficult in different ways than before. Not necessarily easier. You have different battles to fight at every stage. 

51.  You will make the weirdest noises and faces to get your baby to laugh. 

52.  Going out to eat with a baby that doesn’t like to sit still (stroller, high chair, carrier) is not fun. It’s kind of like a Chinese fire drill. One person eats while the other is walking around with the baby. Then switch. Not worth it. Lesson learned. 

53.  You’re going to constantly guess what’s going on with your baby… it’s difficult to tell what’s bothering them a lot of the time! Until he or she learns to talk. 

54. Borrow baby items before buying – swings, etc. it’s quite possible your baby will hate it and so will you after spending $100+ on it!!

55.  Baby snuggles are the best thing ever. They never get old. Snuggle as much as you can while you can!

56.  Everyone is losing their shit. You’re not alone. 

57.  A baby that’s teething while nursing can chomp down on you and it’s bloody awful. 

58.  Sleep train when you’re ready and when baby is ready. You’ll just know when to do it. We waited until he was 6mos and had his reflux under control and his stomach issues more settled. If we were to do it when he had those issues unresolved, we all would have been miserable. 

59.  Teething isn’t fun for anyone.  We all knew this. I just had to reiterate. 

60.  I have to say this again… things change CONSTANTLY! And everyone always says once you get something down, babies will switch it up on you! This is true… or just throw you constant curve balls. 

61. Looking back at Gavin’s photos… it’s INSANE how much they change in only ONE month. Their looks, personality, sounds, poops…. haha. 
I think I’ll leave it at that for now… until next time, thank you for reading! 😉

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Adventures of Motherhood: Part 3

Hello again! Thank you for reading this third post on my adventures in motherhood. I must reiterate that these are my experiences only! I am a first time mama and though I have had experience with babies/kids in the past, there is and was a lot that I did not know! 

I also want to share that given the fact we have been under a bit of sleep deprivation, the order of these are in no order as I’m writing these points down as they come to mind. 🙂 Thank you for understanding!!

And here continues the list… 

22.  All babies hate diaper changes at first.  
They cry every time for at least a few weeks. This is tough on you because you’re changing the diapers so often and it’s just difficult to hear your baby cry. 

23.  You will be flooded with unsolicited advice. 
Ok I knew this already. BUT, I did not know the extent of it. People are very passionate about what’s expected of moms and how they raise their kids. If it worked for them, it should work for all, right! WRONG! Now, hear me out… Everyone obviously means well in trying to help you and offer their suggestions and opinions but what it really comes down to is what works for you and your baby. No one else.  You just have to say thank you and take what you want from it if anything at all. I’m still working on this – it is an everyday challenge. This leads me to my next point..

24.  Not only is having a baby purely a challenge, but keeping your boundaries is also. 
Family, friends, acquaintances, strangers, doctors, nurses, psychologists, your waiter, barista, masseuse etc.  (you get the idea) will tell you what you SHOULD be doing. Since every baby is so different, as they say, no one knows what works for you and your babe but YOU.  Holding those boundaries within yourself can be the most challenging. To not be affected by these offerings is much more difficult than I imagined. Why? Because I’m a first time mom and I’m not only trying to SURVIVE and keep this baby alive, but to also figure out what’s best for my baby. Meanwhile, I’m constantly questioning myself and what I’m doing because I’ve never done this before! I’m still battling this every day and I probably will until I’m more confident in myself… So, I just have to take a step back and appreciate the gesture, consider the options, take in what I want and just keep swimming… Or floundering. Just Kidding. Maybe… 🙂

25.  Nothing ever stays constant except the fact that you will be tired. 
All. The. Time. What works one day may make your little one wail the next. For example, when your baby is crying and you’re trying to calm him down, you could have 6 different ways you know helps. Trying each way more than once may be necessary before any one attempt works. Every day is different. What entertains your baby one day may not interest him at all the next day. So… For those people like me who like routines or consistency, just give in to the crazy. 

26.  You’ll never get to sleep like you used to. 
As a mom you somehow sadly get used to getting up all the time at night. And when your baby hits you with a long stretch you STILL will wake up a lot of time! Or you get some time to nap because someone is watching him or her and you can’t sleep!! It’s such a torturous cycle. 

27.  Sleep begets sleep. 
Babies need enough sleep during the day for proper brain function. Do your best to not let your baby get overtired.  It’s a constant battle over here in this household. 

28.  Be prepared for most everything pertaining to the baby falls on mama.  
We grew them in our bellies. These things are just more natural for us mamas. Guys have to learn it all. And it’s tough!!

29.  Get used to eating your food cold as a mom.  
Especially if you’re breastfeeding. You’re at the baby’s beckoning call and often times when the food is hot, so is your milk for your little one!

30.  The first year of your baby’s life is the most challenging for your marriage. 
Ok I knew this. But I didn’t KNOW this like I do now. I mean where do I start?? Every. Single. Thing. Is different. You will no longer spend your evenings doing the Netflix and chill thing. Or making elaborate dinners. Or hosting lots of guests for meal. Or. jumping up and going somewhere for the weekend. Or going out on the town with friends. Or going on long hikes. You know what I mean right? Ok maybe some of you do  these things with infants but I have not experienced this just yet. It’s just much more complicated. Your freedom is temporarily gone. Your time spent together has diminished. Your social life isn’t quite where it was before the baby. All of these crazy  moving parts surrounding this new little being are now your focus. It’s not that it’s bad. It’s just totally different. And difficult to adjust to. Communication is your savior. And date nights. 

31.  If you’re an extrovert like me, cabin fever may drive you crazy. 
If I could I would have back to back plans all day long. I love to be on the go and busy! And now, with a baby, I find myself more inside my home more than ever! Yes I get out for walks and quick outings to the store etc. but it’s nowhere near the same! I love entertaining and socializing and being around people. 

32.  Stop looking for the right way to do things, and just do what works for you and your baby especially in the first few months. Just survive. Keep your baby alive. 

33.  Sorry guys – but there isn’t a ton for you to do in the beginning months. 
Especially if she’s breastfeeding. Cleaning the house, grocery shopping, meal preparation, errands and holding the baby to give mom a tiny break!!

34.  Please see image. 

35.  As a new mother with a newborn you will hardly have time for anything or anyone else but your baby. 

Including your husband. This just needs to be known that the energy and effort has now shifted from solely your relationship to your baby. This is extremely difficult especially for the men. Their role has changed and often times this can be confusing and unsettling. Reassure him constantly. Yes, you may have two babies now. 😬

36. Your baby’s laugh could cure cancer in your eyes. It’s the most ridiculously cute sound you’ve EVER heard. Ever. 

37. They grow up so fast. Seriously. It’s a bit crazy! Yes I know I knew this before but the reality of it is nuts😱Weirdest phenomenon. Every day feels like it goes by soooooooo slow but the weeks fly by. You go from giving birth to a 3 month old! It’s unreal. 

Stay tuned for more. Thank you for reading ❤️❤️❤️

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Homemade Chinese dumplings, Bao, and “fried” not so fried rice!


It’s a cooking day with my mom! We are making dumplings, Bao, and “fried” not so fried rice 🙂

Recipes to come! 

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Wedding Politics: The Guest List.

Reading time: 5 minutes of your day.

The excitement of getting engaged has subsided and you are now faced with dreaded wedding planning. Initially, it is all thrilling and new. The thoughts, options and possibilities are exhilarating to think about! Soon enough, it all hits you like a ton of bricks. Wedding planning has officially begun. When it’s time to get your feet wet, you move into the nitty gritty stuff like the guest list.

When starting to plan your wedding, I swear I had hundreds of thoughts zooming through my brain.  Where? When? How many? How much? Who will be invited?  How can I make most people happy for the most part?  And when you think about it, one part always relies on the other part.

From personal experience, the guest list is a huge part of wedding planning. How big or small will this guest list be? What does my budget or venue allow for? Who do I include? Who do I exclude? How much extended family should be invited? Do my parents get to invite their friends? Will people be insulted if they’re not invited? All relevant questions. Many these are also determined based on the size your venue can accommodate as well as your budget.

*Please note that I am definitely not an expert – but only writing from experience.*

Our Experience

Our wedding was limited to 75 people due to our venue. We went with the smaller venue because we liked the intimacy of a more select group to witness our wedding day. Some say it was too few, some say it was just right. Either way, it is your wedding, and yours only. (Remember that.  You’ll recite it millions of times until that big day.)  In the beginning of the planning fiasco, we wanted to invite everyone we knew (slight exaggeration here). Who wouldn’t? Imagining a huge party with everyone sounded so awesome! Buuuuut then we thought about it a little more. Do we REALLY want a large-scale wedding where we don’t know everyone all that well? After all, this is a very personal experience for the both of us and we had to ask ourselves who we really there.  We didn’t want a wedding where we wouldn’t know a quarter of the people attending.  We also wanted friends and family that supported us on our journey to get to where we are today.  The thought of inviting individuals who did not support us was almost disgusting.  Sounds vile, but could you imagine standing up in front of everyone, thinking, this is one of the biggest days of my life, and I’m staring at ‘Betty Jo’ whom absolutely hates us being together?  I think not.  Point taken?  I hope so.

Here are some questions to ask yourself:

1.  What is your budget?

2.  Do you want a large party of a wedding or small intimate wedding?

3.  Do you have a venue?  If so, what are the limitations?

4.  How much would it be per person?

5.  Do your parents have anyone that they would like to include?

6.  How much are you willing to stand your ground if there are any opposing opinions?  How stubborn do we want to be about what we want and don’t want?  (This will be the question that helps to answer most all of your future questions.)  Are you sticking to your ideas about what you want in your wedding day?  Or will you let others take the lead in deciding for you?

Here’s what we did:

Before you start, know what your target number is. Ours was 75.

1) Lists.

First…we made two lists (one of mine, one of his) of all family members that we 100%, without a doubt, wanted to come.
Second… we made another list but of all friends that were to be certainly invited.
Third… draw a line at the bottom of each list. Then, add any additional people that are not currently on your lists that you would want there. Extended family, close family friends, acquaintances, friends of the parents etc.

2) Numbers.

After making these lists count them up and see how many you have total. Is this list more or less than your target number?

3) Parents.

Before you make any adjustments and modifications, if your parents are contributing to your budget, it would be proper etiquette to ask them to make a list of who they would like you to invite.  This is merely a crowd-pleaser to some degree.  My parents are divorced so I had to ask them separately.  One parent decided to give a very long list, and the other did not provide any.  We counted the people we absolutely wanted to attend and then made accommodations for the additional spaces from the lists from the parents. If you have a lot of space, then you have so much more flexibility. If your parents are paying for your wedding and you are able to have a large guest list, then make sure the people you want to attend your wedding are invited and to leave some room for your parents’ buddies. If you’re having a smaller wedding, try to keep some spots open for the parents even if it’s a few.  Again, refer to question #6.

4. Wiggle room.

One thing to keep in mind is the inevitable last minute cancellations. We had 80 people invited and 7 people cancelled last minute which is more than we were thinking! It is practically impossible to think that every single person will be attending that you invite. Life happens – sicknesses, travel, family, work schedules etc. Give yourself some wiggle room. Anticipate some cancellations and add a few extra. Feel it out as your RSVP’s come in.

5. Know that you cannot change the inevitable.

It is guaranteed you are NOT going to be able to please everyone.  And it sucks.  This is supposed to be a happy time, and a positive experience but darn it why don’t people realize this isn’t their wedding – it’s yours!  Opinions will be shared, so take it or leave it.  Don’t dwell on it.  Easier said than done – trust me.  Sure, some people will be disappointed they weren’t invited. However, most all people know how timely and expensive weddings can be and understand. For those that do not understand, there is something to be said. Are these people you want at your wedding?

6.  If you don’t meditate, you should start now.

This is half joking and half serious.  Okay, more the serious side.  This is a good thing to practice at any time in your life.  When you’re surrounded by not only the chaos of life, but the chaos of wedding planning, a few minutes of peace is sometimes just what you need.  Whether it’s right when you wake up in bed, in the shower, on your deck, couch or on the floor – it must be a place where your body is balanced and you’re comfortable.  So you found your meditation spot – now what?  There are so many types of meditation and it completely depends on you. I focused on staying positive, showing gratitude, and reaffirming self-worth.  An example of this would be, I am perfect the way that I am. I am worthy.  I am loving and kind.  I am grateful for ____ (fill in the blanks with anything or anyone and visualize).  Everything will happen as they should.  And repeat.  And visualize.  Your thoughts may wander, and that is OK!  This is what practice is for.  I promise you that this will help, but you’ve got to stay committed to it!  I believe in you!

Overall, we were very happy with our wedding and who was there with us.  We felt that we hardly were able to speak with everyone during the reception for more than a few minutes.  But, we were at least able to touch base with everyone there and not feel too rushed.  It was difficult to think about having MORE people there!  For many people, this will be one of the most difficult parts of a wedding.  For others, it may be a breeze.  Either way, every wedding, every person and every situation is different.  Have an open mind and heart, and all will be good.

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Turkey Day – T minus 2 days

Reading time: 1-2 minutes. I’ll keep it short busy bees, I promise!

By now, you’ve probably got your plans for the big Turkey day on Thursday. The family is coming into town and you’re cooking the same fancy meal like you do every year. Grocery shopping and Black Friday shopping is most likely a stressful event and overall, it’s going to be one heck of a week. We put ourselves through utter chaos for the sake of so many. Sound familiar?

I write this little blurb NOT to say, don’t stress or be thankful because I know you will be to some degree. BUT I write to make my point that we must all stop, take a moment to breathe and ask. I realize this may sound absolutely stupid and you may be thinking that you’ve heard this time and time again. And ask? Ask for what? What is she talking about?

Like our wedding, this time FLIES by whether you like it or not. You’re completely over your head about dinner, pleasing your guests, and even family dynamics. Whether it’s that you cooked the turkey a little too long, you forgot to get something at the store, there is way too much to do, your parents constantly criticize you, or your siblings have a grudge against you, or your kids are driving you crazy. Take a moment, take a deep breath, and ask for help. You have those that love you surrounding you. You don’t have to do it all yourself.


Why do I say this? I’m the person that has a difficult time asking for help. Here’s my thought process… I know I can get it done and therefore I know it will get done. I won’t have to worry about it if I do it. What happens when I don’t ask for help is totally overwhelming. I start rushing and am extremely focused. As the minutes pass by, I end up missing out on so many memorable moments. It’s just not worth it. Not worth the worry or stress to miss out on time with your loved ones. Prioritize what is important and not always what is urgent.

Good luck out there and Happy Thanksgiving!

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Saturday Superb Graduation Day

What a wonderful day! My youngest sisters graduation and of course a delicious feast afterwards at Joshu-ya Brasserie in Berkeley! If there’s any one type of food my family loves… it’s sushi! Mmm…