friday foto: our harvest.

We're hoping for lots more to come, but we finally harvested two, big, red, ripe, juicy strawberries from Mari's little plant.
We've been on a major strawberry kick, and leading up to the big harvest, we got in the spirit with one of Mari's new favorite books. So, we cut ours in half, adding a dollop of Cool-Whip and enjoyed immediately. Can't wait for the next batch.

(By the way, I may not be able to wait until they arrive to make this pound cake, which looks like just the perfect pairing for berries and cream.) 

Happy Memorial Day weekend, all!

For more Friday Fotos, click here.


wknd prep: red-white-and-brownies.

Let me start today by saying thank you for your sweet comments and notes to my big news! I'm working on mind-over-matter and even with some sickness, I've got this weekend on the brain. I've mentioned it year after year, but Memorial Day weekend is also Eddie's birthday weekend, so it's a big one for us.

I've got ambitions to make it a really special weekend - perhaps doing a few things in my PJs because that's what feels good these days - and am going to dig out a few favorite creations.

One: caramel brownies.
These are magical. Perfect for a holiday beach birthday weekend. Any weekend, really.

Two: red-white-and-blue hurricanes.
Let's get out the patriotic flare, shall we?! This is an easy DIY that I almost forgot about until Mari discovered them in our cluttered garage.

Three: dining alfresco with our patriotic table cloth.
I just love our flag. And it fits our little outdoor table perfectly.

Plans for this weekend? Do tell!


a little secret.

It might be obvious from my sporadic and very infrequent posting in the last several weeks, but I'm happy to tell you that this sweet girl - with sleepy eyes and a nose full of a cold - is going to be a big sister.
I have had major blogger's block withholding this information. Everyone says you should wait to share the news until you get through the first trimester, which is for such good reason. I'm nearly there, at 11 weeks exactly today, and I just couldn't wait any longer.

We are thrilled, of course. And so very grateful. But also a bit shocked with facing the realities that come with another baby. Last week, I told my best girlfriends that for the past two years, it feels like we've been playing a fun game of house with Mari that has now taken a very real turn and we actually have to grow up. Yikes.

This second time around is so different from the first, but a carbon copy when it comes to my symptoms. I've been struggling with that mild nausea that permeates my every move, every second of every hour of the day. Some days are better than others, and I'm so thankful for I know how much worse it can be.

I've also been struggling with general motivation to do anything. I have been cooking, but just barely. Kraft mac-and-cheese from the box is back in our lives again. As is an endless supply of take-out boxes in the frig.

I've been struggling with my feelings about loving another child like I love Mari. I wonder how my heart will ever grow bigger than it is. I just can't fathom it.

I've been struggling with real life issues, having serious discussions about space, time, money and all the things that are impacted by those three. Which seems to be nearly all of life.

I've been struggling with how I look. If you saw me, you'd guess I was four months. I started showing so much earlier than I did the first time around. My body has totally taken over and I'm ashamed, in vain.

But, in the last several weeks, I've been reminded by some really sweet friends, moms and those expecting, that I need to let it all go. Remember what it's like to grow a human being. And while I snack on things like salty carbs slathered with peanut butter, to embrace it.

I feel so much better now that you know. Thanks for being here and for listening. More goodness to come!


friday foto: lunch meeting.

Ever been to the Ocean View Cafe? It's a lovely little cafe. With a view. Of the ocean. Which, if you live here, you know is hard to come by. Plenty of great restaurants, but so few with a view.

What's so nice is that here, the food is as good as the view. And this herb pizza sandwich stuffed with sundried tomatoes, feta, chicken and lots of good herbs hit the spot.
My sweet friend Jessica is always up for lunching, and this cozy little Mediterranean spot in the sun makes you want to stay and enjoy for hours.

For more Friday Fotos, see last week's post.


thinking about: big girl rooms.

We're not quite there yet, but I've been doing some day dreaming on transforming Mari's sweet nursery into a big girl room before this year is over. I love her little space so much that I plan on keeping it rooted in cheery, sherbet hues with lots of natural textures.
I started a Pinterest board to help keep track of my wandering mind. I think it will help me sleep better when 3 a.m. hits. I'm interested to know of any new discoveries in the children's textile/furniture/decor world, so drop me a comment if you know of a shop or site I should check out. I would love your input!

You can follow me on Pinterest at pinterest.com/paperwhitesblog, and maybe see some hints for the second birthday party, which is coming up way too soon.


friday foto: from the desert.

Last weekend, this was our gorgeous view.
I'm talking about the kid and the course. We had so much fun watching Mari explore her world, which felt so different than one year ago. It really does just keep getting better. This parenting thing.

Which is a very comforting reminder for those days that seem impossible.

Happy weekend, all.

For more Friday Fotos, see last week's post.


meals on the road.

If you follow me on instagram, you saw our beautiful casa we enjoyed in La Quinta last weekend. It was just perfect, and we are always so grateful to our dear friends who share their desert home with us.

When it was just Eddie and me, a weekend road trip wasn't so planned. A place to stay was all we needed, but when it came to meals, activities, tee times or spa appointments, we were always very last minute. And I think that's because we enjoy the art of doing nothing to its fullest. No schedule needed.
Now that we have Mari, we've learned that a little planning goes a long way. Packing things like our favorite peanut butter and jelly makes a road trip feel just like home. Which, can be really nice when your little person is running the show.

I should add that it's easy to enjoy cooking on vacation when you're doing it in a beautiful kitchen with more tools than you'd ever need, an exploading planter of fresh herbs and a pantry full of seasonings, oils and such. Knowing all that, we packed and planned to make some of our favorite comfort foods that happen to be easy on the prep (and wallet!), including The BC's Summer Garden Pasta (with Mari's choice: orzo).
Other things we enjoyed - that taste amazing in summer weather - fresh watermelon, berries and grilled turkey burgers with roasted sweet potatoes. Plus, the obligatory box of Cheez-its poolside. And, by the way, on night one, after realizing that in our organization we weren't quite as organized as we hoped, we ordered pizza. And it was perfection.

What are your favorites when you're on the road?