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Recipe Time! Vegetable Soup

Vegetable soup has never been a favorite of mine. I liked when my mom would cook it, but I wouldn’t normally think about it as one of my go-to staple recipes for weeknight dinners. Also, Jason doesn’t love soup, so I usually stay away from … well, soup. But I saw this recipe for a healthy vegetable soup and thought why not? I was home by myself for a lot this past weekend so knew that I would like it, Audrey might try it and Jason could choke it down (which he did, and actually liked it!). I liked how the recipe offered different “versions,” such as a Mexican version with Rotel, an Italian version with beans or just regular. I served this with some Naan bread, but would also be delish with grilled cheese. Enjoy!

vegetable soup

Vegetable Soup
Adapted from: Danica’s Daily

  • 2 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 15 oz. can Great Northern beans
  • 1/2 can of tomato paste
  • 32 oz. chicken stock (I added water to make a bigger pot)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 2 cups kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 oz. macaroni pasta
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste

1. In a large soup pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrot and garlic, cooking until softened, about 5 minutes.

2.  Add the beans, tomato paste, broth, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper flakes.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until the vegetables soften, about 8-10 minutes.

3.  Add the peppers, kale, pasta and continue cooking for 8 minutes. Remove the bay leaf.

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A Real Vacation

It has been 22 months since I have been physically disconnected from Audrey for more than a few hours. Through the whole pregnancy (duh) and then 13 months of her life, I never spent a night away from her, and IT. WAS. TIME. I love that little one more than life itself, but it was TIME for a getaway, time for vacation, time for rejuvenation, and that’s exactly what Jason and I did! Off to Boston we went for a few days of sightseeing, naps, delicious food, uninterrupted reading time, Fall weather, and fun.

Have you ever been to Boston? It was way different than I was expecting. Jason compared it to San Francisco, and I agree. It’s a big city that feels like a small town. You can walk everywhere, and the weather allows you to do that! It was not as bustling as New York City, and had a little bit of flair like New Orleans. But we saw some really great things: Paul Revere’s house, the Old North Church, Boston Harbor, USS Constitution, the Red Sox, basically all the stereotypical things you can think of when you think of Boston. Jason loved the history, I loved the Fall weather and the tours of Harvard and MIT, and we both loved the company.sunflowers tour boston massacre jason tour guide cheers paul revere house old north church hotel view red sox game

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I took a mental picture today. A mental picture of about 8 minutes during an otherwise uneventful, errand-filled hot September day. Those 8 minutes allowed my Audrey Faye to experience joy, and in turn, reinvigorate my heart and fill it with joy. The simple pleasures of a swing, a slide, some sand and a little neighborhood park can serve as a quick, easy lesson to breathe, get out in the sunshine and just enJOY.audrey swinging audrey sliding


The Biggest First

Yesterday came and went like every other normal day for most. But it was so much bigger than that at our little house on the corner. It was Audrey’s first birthday! My little one is now 1 and as much of a toddler as ever. I worried that the day would bring bittersweet, sappy memories, but instead it brought fun, laughter and a lot of sugar. The long days of this short year have added up to so many memories, things I had already forgotten, and remembered again while perusing old photos.

Like how could I forget how her belly button used to make a cinnamon roll swirl? Or how sleep deprived we were in the first few months of her life? Or how there was ever a time she wasn’t always on the go? When I’m in the moment and I see something special, I think “how could I ever forget how wonderful this moment right here is?” But I do forget, and sadly I will keep forgetting. As much as I try to remember how much I love how she holds her hand at your mouth to keep the food in while she’s chewing, how she shakes her head no at everything, even the things she wants, or how she loves to lay her head on my shoulder right after a nap, these small things will fade away.

But how you made me a Mama, how you thrill your Daddy and how much we love you will never be forgotten. And I’m so glad we got to celebrate your first year with our best family and friends. What a party! Rainbows and hot air balloons, cake and football, rain and laughter, it all created the best birthday party I could imagine. Happy birthday my sweet Audrey Faye!

smash cake candle opening presents decorations cake family birthday


Baby’s First Beach

We hit another milestone earlier this month when we took Audrey to the beach for the first time. What a trip! Not only did she love the sand, the water and the sun, she also loved not sleeping, practicing her diva moves and biggest of all … walking! We have a little brave one on our hands. She absolutely loved it. Rolled around in the sand, played in it, played in the waves, swam in the water, she did it all. And she took those first few precious steps (naturally in front of an audience) and when we came home I looked at her and saw a little girl, instead of my baby. I’m not sure if I love it or hate it 🙂