Birthday Surprises!

Ashton surprised me with Liana's first trip to the beach! Check out the video of our day!

Grammy and Auntie Come To Visit

Grammy and Auntie come down from New Hampshire and we take Liana on a bumpy ride in the woods!

Ani's three month update.

How have three months gone by already?! Check out Liana's newest photos and read about her developmental updates!

Six week photo shoot

Enjoy Liana's latest photo shoot with a 'soot sprite theme', as well as her six week updates!

Liana's birth story

Read through my diary as I undertake one of the most magical moments of my life: giving birth! This is the story of a natural unmedicated childbirth experience as told by a first time mum.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

We're Back!! And Liana has a new baby cousin!

I must apologize for the long leave of absence from updating my blog. We've been going through some changes and things have been seeming even more chaotic! In January I was a bit relieved that the holidays were over and just wanted to rest up. When I was ready to post about our Christmas I realized I had left my hard drive with all of my pictures on it in New Hampshire at my Mom's. I finally have it back though so I'll be going through those.

In recent news, I started a new job about a month ago. With the new year rolling in, Liana's first birthday being just around the corner, and my strong desire to give Liana a baby brother or sister to play with, I decided everything must be in order! (Or rather, Ashton gave me a good bonk on the head to snap me into the reality of our situation and what was and wasn't feasible at the time). So here's to taking steps in the right direction!


And in the most recent and best news of all, I am officially an AUNTIE!! Bronson Matias was born on the morning of March 9th, weighing in at 5 lb, 4 oz! What a little peanut! Here he is less than two hours old.

He's the most beautiful baby boy I've ever seen, and he already looks like both of his parents. We spent two days up in New Hampshire to visit him at the hospital and a take some pictures. I can't wait to see him again. The thought of eventually seeing him and Liana play together truly warms my heart.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Christmas 2014 Part 1: Liana's Christmas Photos

My little model makes it quite easy for me to photograph her. Not only is she my little cutie, but she loves my camera so I get plenty of shots of her looking at the lens instead of trying to wave a toy at her to get her to smile. I might as well start saving up for some modeling gigs! Haha

Monday, December 15, 2014

Oh, Christmas Tree!

Our tree is finally up!
We only put a few present under it and we still have to put ornaments on it, but it's up!!

Today was a rare occurrence: Ashton and I both had the day off work! We ended up being decently productive as well. In the morning the three of us - Ashton, Liana, and I - lounged in bed and enjoyed the next film in our recent Star Wars binge. I finally went and ordered a new pair of glasses (they should be in by Monday) and we also bought a few more presents for the kids. We came home and put lights on the Christmas tree, hung stockings, and wrapped up some presents. Ashton and I enjoyed some Indian food for dinner and Liana had peas. I know what you're thinking, "how unfair!" Well it wasn't, because Ashton snuck Liana some of our dinner as well because Liana was basically demanding it. We fit in another Star Wars film before bed (we lost Anakin to the dark side).

Okay, it doesn't sound like much, but it was a perfect family day for me. We almost never get a whole day together as a family, so I'll love it no matter what we do.

Friday, December 12, 2014

FoodieFriday: Lasagna Roll Ups

I came across this simple twist on a traditional hearty meal that is good all year round, but makes those chillier Autumn and Winter evenings just a bit more comfy. I also have an amazing recipe for this yummy comfort food in it's traditional form, but today I want to share a new perspective. And it may just be a bit more convenient too!

Lasagna Roll Ups

Serves 12
1 cup whole raw almonds
2 tbsp buffalo sauce
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 1/2 tsp onion powder
1 1/4-1 3/4 cup almond milk
1 cup whole raw cashews
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 jar mixed vegetable pasta sauce
1 can crushed tomatoes
2 large diced portobello caps
1 package extra firm tofu

Trying to be a healthy vegan, I went the long way around with the cheese. I could have very easily used some of the Daiya cheese shreds that I have in the fridge, but I decided to make my own cheeses!

1. Almond cheese- Blend almonds, buffalo sauce, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, onion powder and 3/4-1 cup almond milk until slightly lumpy.

2. Cashew cheese- Blend cashews, 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, minced garlic, white wine vinegar, and 1/2-3/4 cup almond milk until creamy.

I will admit, I did take a little shortcut with the sauce; it isn't completely homemade. I justify this with the mentality that taking a shortcut with the sauce is healthier than taking a shortcut with the cheeses. And it's a bit hard to watch a baby and spend the whole day in the kitchen.

3. Combine the mixed vegetable pasta sauce, crushed tomatoes and portobello mushrooms.

Tofu filling
I don't usually add tofu when I make lasagna, but I did so just to plump these up a bit and it actually gave them an amazing texture.

4. Crumble the tofu and sprinkle in salt, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper to taste.

This part took a bit of practice, but it turned out to be fun once I got the hang of it. And assembling it as roll ups rather than as layers in a casserole dish makes it easier to serve later on. Instead of trying to cut each piece individually and watching the middle layers slide a part, just scoop out a roll up!

5. Layer the bottom of a 13 x 9" backing dish with sauce.

6. Lay out several wet noodles on a slightly damp surface.

7. Drop bits of each filling (sauce, cashew cheese, almond cheese, tofu mixture, sauce) onto the pasta.

8. Roll each one up and place them in the dish on top of the sauce. Don't worry about them looking neat or fitting perfectly. Just squish them in there!

9. Cover the roll ups with the remaining sauce. Be sure to cover the sides as well as the top. Sprinkle with some Italian herbs and finally, top each with any remaining cheese.
This is the part where you get to relax and go spend some time with your child that was probably bugging you the whole time you were in the kitchen.

10. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25 minutes. The cheese should be slightly browned and the roll ups warm throughout.

Eat it!
The best part! Use a spatula to simply scoop out a roll up, and enjoy!

Let me know if you try out this recipe by using #RecipeByDanielle on facebook, instagram, or twitter.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Birthday at the beach with the Hernandez sisters!

The three Hernandez sisters! For those unaware, I am on the left, Desiree is in the middle, and Deasha on the right.

This photo was taken on Desiree's 21st birthday, so that makes it... May 6, 2008? I remember this day so well. Desiree really wanted to go to the beach for her birthday, and we were determined to get an early start. Of course we didn't, because we all took forever getting ready. We eventually headed to Hampton Beach (which is a good hour drive at least) and I remember it being quite a warm day for early May. It took us a bit to find parking, but we managed to get a pretty decent spot. After soaking up the sun on the beach, we contemplated cruising on the boardwalk before heading home. Whatever we decided, we went to the car to drop off our towels, which is when we realized Desiree had locked her keys in the car! A hilarious moment, but at the time we were unsure of what to do. We called Mom and she told us to call the police. The police came and we had to pay for them to basically break into Desiree's car. We were so embarrassed (and probably very annoyed) at the time, but we had a laugh about it on the way home.

With the digital world becoming so popular, I'm afraid we are leaving the days of print behind us. This is one of the last pictures that I actually got printed from developing an actual roll of film! I will cherish this for a long time. I love and miss my sisters daily.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My Little Minion ♥

Liana just didn't want to sit still for any of these photos! She kept crawling across the floor into my lap (the woes of a baby becoming mobile). Her Grammy made this hat and scarf set especially for her and she won't even let me take a proper photo to show them off! She is such a little cutie, and looks absolutely adorable in her minion attire. She was also getting very sneaky, pulling herself up to stand next to the table... I think she was trying to get into something up there. I don't think you can tell too well, but there is a cute pink bow in the hair of the minion. And my mom made the scarf without any pattern at all! She's so talented. Liana looks forward to many more hats to model from Grammy's collection. :)