Chocolate for Breakfast

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This isn’t a recipe, it’s just a simple combination of things that basically rocked my world. I realize it may seem weird to eat chocolate for breakfast, but these days anything that gets me out of bed and excited to start the day is absolutely worth it. Esmé is decidedly not a morning person, and could easily sleep until 10 or 11 everyday…aaand sometimes I just follow suit and cuddle the entire morning away. I never regret it, but I’m also not super proud of it.

Anyway, this doesn’t have to be eaten for breakfast! This would make a delicious afternoon snack as well. When you look at the instructions you’ll probably think it’s hardly worthy of a blog post. But trust me, you should try it.

Here’s what you do:

1) Go to Trader Joe’s
2) Buy this Cocoa Almond Spread, and a loaf of their Tuscan Pane bread
3) Go home and make coffee
4) Toast the bread just slightly. Spread liberally with the Cocoa Almond stuff.
5) Dip the toast into your coffee and then…just take a deep breath and relax.

10 :: 52

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10 of 52

“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week in 2014″

Esmé at 10 weeks.

On week 10, we had Esmé dedicated. It was such a special day. We had a small ceremony in our apartment with just a few very close friends and family. Micah’s mom lovingly crocheted this beautiful gown and bonnet for this occasion, and it fit Esmé perfectly. I don’t cry very much, especially not about things that are super important to me, but I found myself welling up as Micah’s dad was giving the homily. I don’t know that I understood the magnitude of what that dedication meant until we were there in the middle of it, with all of our loved ones gathered around, and our sweet baby in my husband’s arms.

After it was over, I felt such a sense of relief knowing she was now completely and fully in the hands of Jesus (not that she ever wasn’t), and then we were able to relax and drink coffee with those closest to us. It was a wonderful day, and certainly one I will never forget.

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9 :: 52

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“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week in 2014″

Esmé at 9 weeks.

I’m incredibly late posting week 9 (and week 10, come to think of it!) but at least I remembered to take the pictures on the appropriate days. This week we’ve been dealing with pacifier issues…at first we wanted her to take it because she was so fussy, and once she did she was a much happier baby. But now she has a hard time going to sleep at night without it, but she constantly drops it which in turn wakes her up and nothing else will soothe her. Do we take it away, which will be a whole new battle?! Do we let her hang onto it, knowing eventually she’ll be able to keep it in her mouth for longer stretches of time?! The thing I’m realizing about parenting is that it isn’t the big things that are so taxing…it’s all the little tiny decisions throughout the day – continually fixing one problem to seemingly create another – it leaves me feeling like I’m always doing something wrong. But beyond the pacifier issue, she actually sleeps for pretty long stretches at a time, and only wakes up one or twice during the night…it’s just that initial falling asleep that we haven’t quite mastered yet. But I think it’s ok…she’s only 9 weeks old after all.

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8 :: 52

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8 of 52

“A portrait of my daughter, once a week, every week in 2014″

Esmé at 8 weeks.

She’s been such a joy these days, learning to play and laugh and smile. She loves laying in the sunshine and seems to dislike dreary days as much as I do, spending them either sleeping or being pensive.

We’re starting the process of moving her out of our bed at nights and into her crib, which means she’s awake more of the night (and so am I). But I think it will be worth it in the end. Micah and I are already low on personal space living in a one bedroom apartment (side note: nobody talks about sleep teaching/training when you’re sharing a room with the babe…somebody write a book on that, cause it’s a whole different story!), so having at least that to ourselves will be nice. I think letting go of co-sleeping is hardest on me, because cuddling with that little girl through the night and waking up with her face next to mine are two of my favorite things in the whole world.

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Dirt Cheap Dinners: Sweet Potato Hash

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In this episode of Dirt Cheap Dinners, we use a couple of my favorite foods: sweet potatoes and rotisserie chicken. I’ve found that sometimes, the best thing to do when you’re on a budget or nearly out of food is to just throw a bunch of things in a skillet, cross your fingers and hope it tastes good. This was one of those experiments that I was so happy with, my husband and I decided it needed a blog post all it’s own.

You may also notice some biscuits in the background. Those are Bisquick biscuits. I realized recently, with a very heavy heart, that I am not a naturally gifted biscuit maker. I’m not very good at all. Mine always come out flat, deeply lacking in the thing that makes biscuits so biscuity – fluffy, steamy, softness. In the world of blogging, it’s easy to look like you’re good at everything because you only post the things that turn out well, and you take a million pictures in weird areas of your home to make sure the lighting is just right, etc. Well I’m here to tell you that there are some things I’m very bad at, and making biscuits is one of them. SO…I’m on a quest to learn how to make a really good biscuit. I’ve found a few resources, and some good looking recipes, and I’ll be sure to post my success (or lack thereof) here on the blog. Wish me luck!

Sweet Potato Hash with Broccoli, Chicken and Fried Egg     { serves 2-3 }

2 medium sized sweet potatoes, pre-cooked and slightly mashed (I baked mine a couple of nights before at 425 for 35 min)
1/3 of a rotisserie chicken, taken off the bone and roughly chopped into bite size pieces
1 small head of broccoli, steamed until crisp-tender
2-3 eggs, depending on how many people you are serving

In a medium cast iron skillet, heat a small pat of butter over medium heat until melted. Add the sweet potato, chicken, and broccoli to the pan. Cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring a few times to make sure everything is heated thoroughly. Once everything is hot, and the potatoes are beginning to get golden in some areas, make a couple of little nests in the mixture, allowing the pan to show through (this is where you’ll cook the eggs). Add a tiny bit of butter to each empty nest, and crack your eggs into the holes. Cover the pan, and cook until your eggs are however you would like them to be. We prefer the yolks to still be pretty runny in ours, but the whites to be fulled cooked. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper, and a touch of Tabasco and you’ve got yourself a meal! We served ours with biscuits…Bisquick biscuits, and they were delicious. Enjoy!

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