Loving yourself and others

Remember the adorable Galentine's Day Brunch I went to? Well, we all sat down and shared our thoughts on how to love yourself and others too :) Happy month of LOVE. | video by: dotd films 

Twenty Seven

Heading out for my Birthday dinner! A grainy iPhone shot, but hey, the sun had already set so I think this is pretty good considering! Love this girl :)

Yesterday was my 27th birthday, and boy was it different! Being a mother has changed every aspect of my life, even in ways I wasn't expecting. For example, Tuesday night I was trying to do a million things at once to utilize the time I had while Ella was napping. I had some brushed that needed soaked and cleaned from finishing painting our bedroom, so I went down stairs to our laundry room that has a big industrial sink. It was taking forever to fill up, so I decided to quickly go run the trash out to the cans and come back. Well, I bet you can guess what happened next. I forgot to come back. If you follow me on Snap chat you saw the aftermath. Oh, sidenote while I am on that, I have Snap chat! I have avoided using it for forever, but my friend talked me into it and I must add, it is way more fun to use now that I have a baby. You can follow me @alyciagrayce but be warned it is all snaps of Ella pretty much. Oh and flooding disasters in my basement. So yeah, back to the story. I came down to a flooded laundry room while after finishing up the dishes and cleaning the kitchen that I had totally forgot about it. Yikes! 

I felt like a total idiot, and started lifting up the carpet. It wasn't really tacked down, which was nice because I could easily lift it up and start guiding the water with a mop to the drain in the floor. Thank goodness it is all concrete down there and that drain saved us because I was able to make sure there wasn't any standing water. Some water did spread to the basement room area, but I think I caught my mistake quick enough to cause any real damage. I spent the rest of my night using a Shop-Vac on the carpet and was able to pull up a TON of water. We also got some fans and heaters going and crossed our fingers this wasn't going to cost us. We were a little concerned about mold, so we called to have someone come in the next morning and check it all out. Thankfully our efforts had not been in vain. He said that everything looked great, there wasn't going to be any damage or concern for mold, and to just make sure we kept the fans and heat going on the spots on the carpet. Trevor was so happy he gave the guy a Cafe Rio gift card for coming out, even though it was a free consultation, ha! I think we were both just so happy everything worked out in our favor. 

I tell this story because that night I was so mad at myself, feeling like a total idiot. Before, I would have let something like that ruin not only my day but maybe even my week. But as I finished up cleaning I went up stairs to feed and play with my beautiful daughter. She brings me so much joy, and puts everything into perspective. I realized that she was the source of what makes me truly happy and that with her in my life, I don't think I can really have a horrible day. Man being a parents is the coolest. You really don't "get it" until you have your own. Trevor and I were talking about that the other day. You really don't get how much you can love your child, and how much joy they can bring you, until you have your own children. 

Ella has been all about her tongue for the last month or so. She cracks me up! This is a grainy picture but you get the idea. It was too good not to share :)

Ella waiting patiently like a big girl for her Daddy to get ready to go! haha

So with the good news that my laundry room mistake wasn't going to cost us anything, I started off my birthday in a great mood. That afternoon Ella and I met up with some friends for lunch down in Provo, and I made sure to visit all my favorite spots. Buffalo Chicken Tacos from 180 Tacos, obviously, and Lisa my old co-worker and good friend was able to meet me for some cookies at Sodalicious. Oh my goodness, I LOVE their cookies. My girl Jalynn told me I needed to try the Nutella Peanut Butter Cookie and I about died. It was one of the best cookies I have ever had, and I don't say that lightly. I decided that calories don't count on your birthday, and didn't even worry about how much I was going to be eating that day. Later that evening Trevor, Ella and I went to Tucanos for dinner, one of my favorite places because I love Pao de Queijo and steak, which is available in abundance at Tucanos. We were way too full for any kind of dessert, so I am planning that later this weekend I will have some of my all time favorite birthday cake (a tradition), angel food cake with whip cream and strawberries!   

Galentine's Day Brunch - Emoji Theme

I am excited to finally share some pictures from the adorable Galentine's Day Brunch my friend Michelle hosted. It was emoji themed, and every detail was thought out and brilliant. We enjoyed great food, crafts, and great company (Oakley, Michelle, Dani, Whitney, and Cecilia.)

We all wore a red dress from shabby apple and accessories from shop & apparel, and made a video with dotd films about loving yourself and those around you, which I will be sharing later. The yummy food was from mt. vista catering and provo bakery. All of the fun party decorations/paper goods were from zurchers. The beautiful floral centerpieces were done by foxglove floral and gifts.And the beautiful photography was taken by my girl, Roxana, from Roxana B Photography

And again, Michelle put this all together! She was such a generous host. She even let me pump in her bedroom, ha! That is is a true friend people. She really has a talent, and it was so nice to get out of the house and do something. Every girl there has a heart of gold and I loved getting to know them better as we discussed being mothers, women, blogging, and why it is so important for us to love ourselves. Such a great morning! Check out all the details after the jump!

Sun Basket Organic Meal Service - Giveaway!

I am so excited to share my experience with Sun Basket, a new healthy and organic meal kit service. They offer delicious ingredients delivered to your door, including paleo, vegetarian and gluten free options. I was able to pick three different meals from the weekly menu and they arrived at my door portioned out completely. It was so nice to have it organized like that because it saved so much time when it came to making dinner, I mean, all the prep is done for you! 

Each meal was delicious, and what I really loved about it was it was a nice change from the typical rotations of meals we make. You know we all have them! The options provided me an opportunity to cook something using produce and ingredients I wouldn't normally gravitate too. It really gives you a confidence boost in the kitchen! I know that before people want to spend money on something like this they like to hear what others thought about it, or try it themselves. Thankfully you can get both today! 

I love, love, loved this service! If you eat out too much, feel uninspired in the kitchen, or just want to save yourself some time (at the grocery store, letting bought produce go to waste, etc.) a meal service like Sun Basket could be the perfect fit for you! Even better, everything is healthy and organic with gluten free options. I know several people with dietary restrictions would love the ease of not having to think about dinner for half of the week and have it all put together for them.

I made these meals at night, which means no bright pretty natural light for pictures! haha But I think even these iphone shots show just how yummy and diverse these meals are.

Roasted pork loin with braised kale and pecan aillade. Okay people, this was BOMB. I like kale but this took kale to another level. I will be making this again for sure! And the pecan aillade was so yummy and made me feel like a really good cook. It paired so well with the meat and the salad. It is something you could really impress some dinner guests with.

Winter albondigas with shredded cabbage. Such a yummy, comfort food soup! This was definitely something unique and different for me to make, a Mexican dish of a hearty winter soup. The house smelled amazing when Trevor got home from work :)

Roast chicken with parsnips and Catalan salbitxada sauce. Holy scrumptious. This Catalan salbitxada sauce was diviiiiiiiine. I don't think I can have chicken without it ever again. This sauce took this simple dinner of roasted chicken and veggies to another level. The flavors people, the flavors!!!

LUCKY FOR YOU I've teamed up with Sun Basket to give away 3 days worth of meals, valued at $70. Trust me, you want to win this! OR if you want to get started right now, for $30 off your first box of Sun Basket, go to: bit.ly/alyciacgiveaway

Alright, so how to enter the giveaway! Enter in the Rafflecopter below, or visit my Instagram for even more entries! 

Giveaway ends Wednesday, February 3 at 12 a.m. PST. Winner will be selected at random and announced on February 5 on this post. Winner must be located in one of the following states: California, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Utah, Idaho and Nevada.

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