Sunday, April 29, 2012


An instagram a day for the past week:

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monday: simone, the cutest bike-riding hipster baby in town at community group

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 tuesday: thanks to martha, obsessed with museli

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wednesday: orange-red lipstick, thank you kate moss, from this post

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thursday: restaurant week at six burner, sippin on my new favorite drank:
sparkling water + lime

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friday: happily saying goodbye to the work week

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saturday: dinner with friends at the swanky new 2113 in church hill.

Friday, April 27, 2012


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This is definitely not how this shirt looked on me a few months ago.

Pet peeve: When I'm walking down a relatively empty street and I hear the footsteps of someone following close behind me, a little too close, wearing loud shoes and sounding like they are going to catch up any second. I get more than a little irritated by that. It's a combination of feeling like I want to turn around to see if I know them - because why else would they be walking so close?- but not wanting to, in case I don't know them, and a feeling of paranoia that I'm going to get grabbed.

Why do I share this? Because paranoia is not a feeling I enjoy, and of late, it's been a more prevalent feeling than I like to admit. Most times I am calm, and I feel like I am taking so many of these life changes into stride. Other times, I think if I look in the mirror I'll see a wide-eyed panicked version of myself, unblinking and demanding answers.

Growing a human inside your body for the first time is prime time, a perfect environment for breeding all sorts of paranoid issues and self-doubt. I wash my hands too many times a day. I avoid foods on the no-no list and I am constantly trolling the web to see if there is anything else I should be staying away from.  I replay and analyze whether or not that bite of meat I ate was slightly undercooked. I lay awake at night when I can't fall back asleep wondering if she's moving around so much because she's uncomfortable due to something I did or ate that day.

All of this is totally unlike my usual self. I'm a brush-it-off, don't-sweat-the-small-stuff, don't-take-yourself-too-seriously, kind of gal, but being responsible for the life and future of an unborn child is new to me. And in this case, the not-knowing is normal, but sometimes - only sometimes - it can slide into a rabbit trail that ends with me imagining the worst case scenario. To be fair to myself, it's rare when this happens, but what I'm doing here is acknowledging that it DOES happen, maybe in an attempt to hold on to the good (habits) and let go of the delusional. I recently had a conversation with my mom who said one of the surprisingly hardest things about being a parent is letting go. Not necessarily of your child, but of your fears and your expectations. Especially if you are one who believes that you are not in control, that this baby is not just your own, and that God is the kind of God who wants us to trust him, I can see this letting go thing is definitely going to have to be a habit when I become a parent. So that's what pregnant-me is about, I guess, doing my best at what I can, letting go of my fears, and being patient....



People, we are having issues in the Lu household with this dog of ours. It's like he is reverting back to his puppy status and it's driving us a little crazy..! Which is one of the many reasons why I am welcoming the weekend with the big wide open arms that are expecting extra sleep and some outdoor play time for our anxiety-ridden pet. Hope yours too is a respite from the crazy!  Things of note from around the monsterweb:

1. I can be all about toting this bag around this summer...

2. I've been reading up on argan oil and might try this chemical-free sunblock this summer.

7. I can't wait to get my hands on this book.

8. Adorable measuring spoons.

9. My cousin sent me this article today; food for thought...

10. This is my jam right now. It moves my underbelly.

Thursday, April 26, 2012



Sometimes you have one of those days when you catch a glimpse of yourself in the mirror looking sort of grey and blah, and you realize that’s pretty much how you’re feeling, too. I think one of the best quick-fix ways to put some pep back into your look and overall feeling (besides a shower!) is to put on some bright-colored lipstick or maybe even some lip gloss. It instantly makes your face appear brighter and also adds an element of interest.

I’ve been experimenting with bright reds and found some pretty decent ones along the way (i.e. Revlon’s Just Bitten Lipstain in Flame), but I think so far my favorite is Rimmel London's Lasting Finish by Kate Moss. Yes, Kate Moss released a lipstick line with Rimmel and she did done good.

I learned about this shade as I was checking out of Michael's and the cute checkout girl was rocking this great shade of orange-red lipstick, so naturally I asked her about it, and she excitedly shared her intel, because thats what lovely ladies do- share beauty secrets. I picked up a tube at Ulta for about $5-6, which is so so reasonable, and have been sporting it ever since. There is no name for the color, just the number, '12'.  I like the consistency, the smell, and depending on how much you put on, you can control the potency of the orange redness. It doesn’t quite last the alleged 8 hours, but stays on pretty well nonetheless. I hear the other shades are great too, so if orange-red is not for you, maybe give some other colors a try.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012



I am constantly on the lookout for dinner ideas that are relatively simple and don’t take up too much time (who isn’t?), and I especially like this one because I think it’s a basic enough idea that you can interchange the vegetables and chicken for your own preferences and come up with a roast that works for you. For example, you could use chicken breast instead of chicken thighs, and substitute sweet potatoes or other types of potatoes for the Yukon gold, and add vegetables like carrots and green pepper, to change it up.  (I like to prepare the meat and marinade the night before because it cuts down the cooking time and also because it makes the chicken more flavorful.) It’s good with rice or by itself and the potatoes make it a really hearty meal.




Spanish chicken and potato roast (recipe adapted from Food Network). 

•    1 1/2 pounds large Yukon gold potatoes, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
•    4 cloves garlic, smashed and coarsely chopped
•    2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
•    Kosher salt
•    1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken thighs (5 to 6 thighs)
•    2 teaspoons smoked paprika
•    Freshly ground pepper
•    4 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh parsley
•    2 lemons (1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges)
•    2 large medium red onions, halved and thinly sliced
•    1 cup of white mushrooms, sliced.

1.    Marinate chicken thighs using: the juice of one lemon, salt and pepper, smoked paprika (about 2 teaspoons), fresh parsley (about 4 tablespoons), chili powder, and garlic powder.  Set aside for immediate use or cover and refrigerate over night.
2.    Put the potatoes, garlic, olive oil, 1 tablespoon water and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large microwave-safe baking dish and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap, pierce the plastic in a few places with a knife and microwave 8 minutes to partially cook.
3.    Position a rack in the upper third of the oven. Place a large cast-iron baking dish or a rimmed baking sheet on the rack and preheat to 500 degrees F.
4.    Once the oven is ready to go, remove the hot baking dish from the oven; carefully add the potatoes and spread in an even layer. Scatter sliced onions and mushrooms on top. Roast until the potatoes start to brown, about 12-15 minutes.
5.    Take out the baking dish and flip the potatoes.  Lay the chicken pieces on top, adding any accumulated juices from the bowl; return to the oven and roast until the potatoes are tender and the chicken is cooked through, about 12-15 more minutes. Remove from the oven and top with remaining parsley if you like. Serve it with lemon wedges and on a bed of Spanish yellow rice. Bon appetite!


Tuesday, April 24, 2012





I am noticeably growing now each week, and even the stretchiest of my skirts is getting tight. So I've been having a lot of fun making trips to the thrift store to browse through the racks and come up with outfits that I can make work around my changing body. The skirt above was thrifted for $3, and it is a long skirt that is typically worn at the waist that I've pulled up to the top of my new waistline...right under my boobs.

Her thing now is being squirmy and wiggly when I lay down to go to sleep. I may not have felt a peep from her all day, but as soon as I'm in bed, she's thumping about. It's even harder than you would think, trying to fall asleep with baby jabs happening in your stomach. 

But sometimes, as I'm going about my day, she jabs/kicks/wiggles extra hard, so hard that it catches me completely by surprise and makes me laugh because it is still such a strange, awe-some, funny feeling to me. Regardless of sleep or sores, I'm glad that she's letting me know she's in there by all that dancing. It reminds me that I'm growing a life, and makes me feel that much closer to her.

Monday, April 23, 2012


After we found out our family was going to go from two to three (well, four, including rusty), there was some serious researching and discussing and house hunting that went on in the lu household and ultimately, we ended up purchasing our first house! It was nerve-racking initially to think about taking such a big step, but then the papers were signed and the baby keeps growing in my stomach, and we find ourselves getting more and more excited.

We bought from a commercial builder who is developing a particular area in the North side and the contract is for them to build the house in the model and style that we chose, all of which will hopefully be done at the end of June. The really neat thing about having our house built is that we can see it go up. We've been visiting the plot of land almost every week to check on the progression.


Here is the plot of land with all the trees cleared. Don't you just love the spindly trees in the back? I call them Dr. Seuss trees.

Then they dug the foundation and started laying the brick and cement blocks for the base of the house.


This is where our living room and kitchen are going to be.


The next week, we saw that they had almost finished putting up the frames for the first floor!


Front door and hallway.

K. is standing in our garage, and that's the living room behind him.

The kitchen.

The view from our living room.
Then, just a week later, they had put up the second floor AND the roof!





So exciting! I will post with more updates as they come...

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Are you having a good weekend??
Here are some photos of what my instagram documented today.

I had what seemed like a bazillion errands to run and it being a nice day and K. being otherwise occupied, I took a deep breath and dove right in. I started off by making a stop at one of my favorite thrift stores and scored some great finds at a great deal, which is oh-so-satisfying, and while I was there I stalked a very adorable old man who was trying to pick out a book for what I imagined to be an afternoon reading in the park. I have this thing when it comes to old men, especially cute or classy ones. Everything they do somehow seems like the most endearing, joyous, heartbreaking thing. I feel this way about classy old ladies too. I know it's not just me.


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He's standing in line to buy his $1 book and has the dollar bill out and ready. I die.

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tabletop lovely wildflowers at martha's. they were from last week, not this weekend, but i love these flowers so much I keep looking at the photo.


saturday morning belly rubs

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she's grrooowwing!


giant strawberries and Trader Joe's s'mores ice cream sandwiches.
because the baby says so.

Friday, April 20, 2012

I'm so glad it's Friday


How will you spend your weekend? Among other things, I am going to make a trip to the library and borrow some books that I've been meaning to bring home to read.  If the weather is nice, I am hoping to spend some time reading outside!

And a few things I've been eyeing and loving around the web:

1.  Matchbook views: Graphite drawings on matchbooks based on Google Street View photographs.

3. This is totally out of our price range, but everything from this furniture store, please.

4. I've been thinking about getting a new iPhone case, but might try this cheaper option first.

5. Sad that these are out of stock!

7. Oils: thinking about trying this or this.

9. This dress reminds me of the 5th grade... in the best way.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Roasted edamame and cranberry mix



I love this snack because it’s a great mix of sweet and salty. It’s also appealing because I much prefer edamame over nuts, and roasting them makes them slightly crunchy so you still get a lot of texture. More bonus points: it's a healthy snack that the husband likes.

The great thing about putting together an easy mix like this is that the portions are whatever you desire. If you like more of the salty, go heavy on the edamame. If you prefer the sweet, add some extra cranberries.

Dry-roasted edamame and cranberry mix
(Recipe adapted from Shutterbean, which is a recipe adapted from Whole Living Magazine)

Frozen shelled edamame, thawed
Extra virgin olive oil
Coarse salt (I just used regular salt)
Dried cranberries Heat oven to 425F.

Arrange edamame on baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Toss to coat and roast in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Let cool and mix with cranberries.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Spring wreaths

You know what's better than winter? SPRING. You know what I like better than winter wreaths? SPRING WREATHS. That's right - wreaths for the springtime. And it's made all the better when you make one of these wreaths in the company of friends and outside in the sunshine because the weather is just that fine.







My wreath in the making!





The salami and cheese wreath, courtesy of Martha