Category Archives: Photography

Happy New Year!


Not a bad way to spend winter vacation

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season and has started the new year out well.  We recently returned from spending just over 3 weeks visiting my family in St Thomas.  What a nice treat to relax, be warm, and have plenty of help with Cia.  It was definitely a much needed break from our busy life.  I can sum up our vacation in one word, mellow.  We spent time at the beach and at home.  We really didn’t do much beyond this and it felt great.  Cia went through many changes – she now has eight teeth, eats three solid meals a day, and has taken a few first steps!  How fun!!  Here’s a few pics from our adventures..

Cia playing with Aspen and Uncle Matt

Christmas fun

Here’s the best Christmas present I could ever ask for

Beach fun

Sand fun

Hanging out while dad surf’s off in the distance

My beautiful family

This one’s for you mom & dad

Playing as the sun sets

Pool time fun (I love how she crosses her legs)

I chose to take a break from blogging while away to relief any pressure I had put upon myself.  Everything seems to speed up at the year comes to a close and it felt like I didn’t have enough hours in each day to get what I wanted to get done.  We did eat lots of amazing meals, all blog-worthy.  My brother is a fisherman and we enjoyed a large variety of local fish.  We also enjoyed a bunch of local cuisine, Josh’s favorite.  Everything from ox tail, to conch pate, chicken curry, funghi, green bananas, and fish soup.  We ate well to say the least!

Oxtail with veggies, rice & peas, and green banana

Now as we are settled back in at home and I truly feel the full time responsibilities of being a mom.  It’s time consuming but also amazing.  Being able to step away from our normal routine gave us a chance to reflect and see where we can improve.  Time management is my main issue.  I now have to make the most of my time while Cia naps.  I don’t seem to get much done when she is awake due to the constant interruptions.  If anything this makes me spend my time doing things more meaningful.  Not necessarily a bad thing.


I don’t do new years resolutions but instead take time throughout the year to reflect and make small changes where they seem fit.  So for now it’s making the most of my time and to also start being more social with Cia.  She’s recently shown interest in interacting with other infants.  Otherwise I will continue to cook 5 or so meals a week blogging those that are new and delicious.  I hope you look forward with what’s to come : ).

Bye bye St Thomas, we can’t wait to return



Colorado Fall



Recently Josh, Cia, and I spent a weekend in Snowmass/Aspen exploring the area and experiencing the beautiful fall colors.  Josh and I are very comfortable in our Boulder ‘bubble’ so it was nice to step outside and see more of the state.  The drive was just over 4 hours and Cia made it the whole way no problem.  Literally not one stop for her.  Of course upon arrival she was in need of a meal and a change but what a great little adventurer we have on our hands.

We arrived into Snowmass by mid-afternoon driving into shimmering yellow Aspen trees..

In Snowmass we found a trail next to Yarrow Park and ventured around a bit to move our legs and enjoy the weather.  It was consistently in the high 50’s but with the sun shining it felt much warmer.  Very little need for a jacket, one of the perks of the Colorado weather.

We came upon a playground and took some time to let Cia Lou play on the swings.  She loves the swings, but really what child doesn’t?

Josh tried to show Cia how to swing but he sort of forgot how.  Seriously.  I showed him how and gave him a few tips and he was off..

We wandered around Snowmass Village and found out the gondola had already closed for the season.  So we decided to depart and Cia waved off the town as we were leaving..

For one of our scenic drives we drove up the Frying Pan River to the Ruedi Reservoir in Basalt.  It was a beautiful drive!

We drove up through the neighborhood at the top and checked out the views around the houses.  All the homes were amazing but I cannot imagine having to drive 30+ minutes any time you needed to go into town.  Imagine if you forgot eggs at the store?  I’m sure there is a lot of neighborly love up there.

Pull off at the Ruedi Reservoir:

It became clear the the locals spend their free time on the water as much as possible.  Only one sailboat actually in the water but we passed plenty of boats on their way for an afternoon outing and even more in the driveways of many homes.

We stopped for a beer and/or food at a handful of local spots.  Here we are relaxing in Basalt on the Frying Pan River.  Like mother like daughter?

Josh waiting for his beer.

And now we are in Aspen.  Here’s a view of the mountain from downtown.  You can’t tell but the mountain goes way beyond what you see in this picture.

Riding up the gondola to check out the scenery..

View of the rockies from the top of Aspen..

At the top we walked around a bit, amused ourselves with some birds, and stared at the views..


Cia Lou showed her interest in playing with some big toys..

Happy girl will not show the camera her two front teeth ;)

View in the distance as we rode down the gondola from Aspen..

 As we drove back to Boulder we chose to take Independent Pass through the Rocky Mountains.  With an elevation of 12,095 ft, it’s a long winding road, a little unnerving at times, giving off beautiful views.

We stopped a few times to check out the view but Cia made it the entire drive home without any fuss.


Welcoming Myself to Motherhood


Our love child decided to grace the world with her presence on February 14th.  Very special and yet ironic as Josh and I have always avoided celebrating Valentine’s Day.  This day is forever changed in our lives and all for the better!  The birth experience was nothing short of amazing and intense.  Our little lady decided to nix our plans for a home birth and we ended up in the hospital after too many hours of back labor.  In the end everything turned out fine and we have a healthy girl.  I like to make things difficult at times and it seems she does too.  After avoiding medicine for years I managed to make up for it all in a few short hours!  One neat little tidbit is a few days before I went into labor I had a dream that I gave birth to a baby girl (we did not officially know the sex but both Josh and I thought it was a girl), the birth happened in a hospital, and I named her Cia.  I do believe there really is something to be considered with dreams.  During the entire hospital/birth experience I remained calm and positive.  Maybe my dream prepared on some level for what came my way.  Josh and I had no names considered for our little one whether it was a boy or a girl, literally not one.  Nothing seemed to stick with us enough and when I told Josh about my dream he immediately liked the name.  We weren’t for sure going to use it but right after she was born we both knew she was Cia Louise Martén.



Overall Cia Louise has been an extremely well behaved little girl.  She sleeps plenty, smiles often, and cries minimally.  What a happy baby she is!  My recovery has been going amazingly well.  I did manage to contract a cold after the hospital stay, but thankfully it’s pretty much gone.  I attribute it to the loss of immunity from taking three different antibiotics.  To reboost and rebuild I’ve been ingesting plenty of probiotics and herbal tinctures.  Immunity starts in the gut and where antibiotics definitely serve their purpose, they also kill plenty of the good bacteria going on.  The weather has either been overcast or windy so I’ve been stuck inside for the most part but starting tomorrow and throughout all of next week the weather is supposed to be clear and warm.  I can’t wait to start walking a bit with Cia.



At this point I feel ready to start spending a little time in the kitchen again.  I don’t really see myself changing my cooking style up all that much except for simpler meals.  Luckily sleep does happen but of course it’s interrupted for feedings.  As a nursing mother I will be avoiding vegetables from the cruciferous family to avoid giving Cia gas.  Otherwise there really isn’t much to change.  I already don’t eat spicy foods, drink coffee, or eat high mercury fish.  My plan is to eat a variety of foods to keep my diet well balanced, continue taking the supplement Baby and Me made by MegaFood, drink plenty of water, eat nuts (I’m currently on a pistachio kick), consume fresh homemade juice, keep my sugar consumption to a minimal, eat plenty of whole grains particularly brown rice, fresh vegetables and fruits, and also protein in the form of lean red meat and also fish.  I’m not a calorie counter and have never been one.  I do hope to fit into my old jeans soon, but to be honest I’m not really worried about my weight.  I’m not even 3 weeks postpartum and I think I look pretty good.  I know by eating healthy, nursing, and moving my body all will return to normal in due time.  Plus it’s almost warm season so I’ll be out and about plenty.



Here’s a lunch I made for myself yesterday.  As I said simple is key and this was easy and delicious.  I roasted a small carnival squash, made 1/2 cup brown rice, and cooked some frozen kale.  For seasoning I only used a bit of salt in the rice and a decent amount of fresh grated pecorino romano in the kale.  The meal satisfied my hunger and held me over for quite some time.  Not to mention it’s healthy and packed full of vitamins.  I do have a lot of fun getting creative in the kitchen but it’s times like these that I can truly appreciate the simplicity of food.


Squash, Brown Rice, & Kale

Berry Picking!!

Golden Raspberries

Both Josh and I had a long work week.  And as much as I enjoyed the gray and damp weather we had most of the week I knew Saturday needed to include a little outside time.  I had heard about Berry Patch Farms earlier this summer and finally remembered to look it up.  Friday night I ended up calling for recommended times to pick and I’m glad I did.  We were intending to go around 1 or 2 pm but I was told to show up by 10 am if I wanted to get strawberries.  Due to crop rotation and the excessive rain earlier this season you were only allowed two cartons per family and they all get picked by midday.  Of course I wanted strawberries!  And yes raspberries too, but those were unlimited picking.  We hit the farmer’s market before 9 to grab some apples, had a delicious breakfast of pho, and then were on the road.  The farm was only 30 minutes away in Brighton.

When we arrived right after 10 we were greeted by one of the farm cats : ).  He came right up to me as all cats should do and let me hold him while getting some good massaging.  The funny part is when I looked at the farm’s website a bit ago and noticed there warning about the black and white cat (the one I made friends with).  Apparently he’s not one they recommend petting.  This made me all the happier to know I was one of his chosen ones.

Running loose there also was a chicken, rooster, ducks, more cats, and Bacon Bits, the farms ridiculously fat pig.  I mean insanely fat.  I would have taken a picture but the poor pig was surrounded by tons of hyper children so I left her alone.  This all added to the experience of a friendly warm farm.  Oh and there were goats too, but they weren’t roaming free.

Anyway we grabbed our cartons and hit the berry patches.  The strawberries were first priority and we managed to do fine filling our two cartons.  We did have to walk around from row to row but there were plenty.  On the way out of the patch and on to the raspberries we did manage to walk over a spot that hadn’t been hit yet.  So my stomach decided to be a carton too.  Yes yes I know you should pay for most of what you pick, which we did, but I still enjoyed a few dozen strawberries while Josh watched and laughed.  Good eats!

The weather was pretty perfect.  Cloudy and slightly cool when we showed up but halfway through it turned clear and sunny.  The perfect combination to prevent us from getting too hot.  So now I have an abundance of fruit.  I could do something creative with them all but honestly they are so good I will probably gobble them up as is.  I do intend to make a little something with a few, but just a few.  Stay tuned to see what’s to come.


Tons of raspberries

Josh picking some raspberries

Look at that tummy!

Yeehaw! Look at those berries

Happy pickers!

Ready to go

: ) I did share two cartons of raspberries ( :

And still plenty more to ripen