Hi friends! It's been a while, yes? I'm still around. I promise! Here's the lowdown on what I've been up to lately. How are things in your world!?
The last several months have been full of adventures and while I planned to keep the blog active throughout it all (the last thing I had published was in April 2021, wowza!), I inevitably had to put it on the back burner for a bit. More on that below!
I'm planning to get back to sharing new recipes. I won't say when because I'm...me. It could very well be a week from now or in two months (typical Marissa fashion, you know). I did, however, update a recipe earlier this week that needed a mega content refresh (Vietnamese fried rice), so be sure to check that out if you haven't yet! I took photos for this last summer, wrote the updated recipe instructions some months ago, and finally had time to get it published over the weekend. This rice is an OMGfood classic. I first posted the recipe shortly after launching the blog, before I started to generally focus on Mediterranean food.
I wanted to share what all has changed over the last year (a lot). I've also decided I'm going to share more lifestyle posts like this, so if you're interested in what I'm up to outside of delicious recipe-sharing, stay tuned!
Life update with some photos
Here's what's been going down in my world.
1. In February 2021, I became pregnant
Surprise! We've had an addition to the family since I last posted on the blog. If you follow me on Instagram, you might have known this already because I shared a post announcing my pregnancy there in June of last year. She was born in October and is the absolute best. You'll likely see me referring to her as Baby, Taco (I'll explain later), Koukla, or whatever else comes to mind at the time.
The original plan was to also share an announcement post here (that's the only reason I did this silly, fun, and delicious photo shoot involving pizza in the first place). Better late than never?
This news came somewhat as a surprise to us only because it happened much faster than we anticipated. It was early winter when we decided we wanted to expand our family. A couple of months later, our lives were flipped upside down!
This also meant we had serious things to plan. Our condo was small. We knew we had to move onto a bigger space if we wanted to be comfortable while taking care of a baby. We reached out to our realtor and started house-hunting shortly after. The housing market here, like in many places, is wild.
2. The blogging schedule that never was
While going to open houses every weekend, I was working on a blog schedule so that I could have a new post published on a monthly basis. I had scheduled a couple of weeks in July to work on a bunch of content and have things ready to go while on maternity leave. This picture below was after a very long day of shooting two recipes.
I was as exhausted as I look 😂 but it was a successful day. The very next day we had an appointment to see a house we ended up making an offer on (spoiler alert: the offer was accepted)!
3. We unexpectedly said goodbye to our sweet Nermal
Nermal was 17 years old and her health was declining. She was scheduled to have surgery later in July. The vet was optimistic she'd live happily for a year or two. A few days before the surgery, things went south and we rushed her to the ER in the middle of the night. Nothing could be done and we had to make the heartbreaking decision to let her go. This was the last photo I took of her a few days prior.
And this photo below is one of my favorites. I miss this little snugglemuffin so much ❤️
We found our house and lost Nermal in a couple weeks' time. And more things went down too! We had our condo we were still deciding what to do with. Do we keep it and become landlords when things are about to be mega chaotic or do we sell?! I was also scheduled to get tested for gestational diabetes during this time, which I ended up having, so I had to completely change my diet to keep baby safe. Stress levels were HIGH. So much so that Jason got the shingles too! It's all comical to think about now, but man, what a time that was.
4. We celebrated our baby's arrival with a couple of parties
Jumping ahead to the end of summer, I was a waddling preggo in the middle of my third trimester. I don't like showers and I really didn't want one (I understand the appeal for many; events like these are not really my scene). But we did want to celebrate our baby so we had a couple of low key parties. Delicious food, relaxation, and good company was all we cared about. We had one with family and another with a few friends to keep things small and safe. Our little Taco was spoiled with gifts!
As you can maybe tell, Taco was a name we had for her since early on in the womb! Our friends made her these amazing onesies.
5. We closed on our home
Seven weeks before baby was due, we closed on our new home! It somehow felt this day would never come. We were so excited to be moving in – and we had a lot to get done before baby's debut.
Two days after we had moved in, I had scheduled a delivery from Home Depot for a small deep freezer to keep in the basement. I started doing some serious meal prep to freeze ahead for post-baby nourishing. What you see below is just a fraction of what I had prepared. I was basically meal prepping until the day I went into labor! Friends and family also generously dropped off food for us.
6. We started to unpack and work on Taco's nursery
We knew we wanted to paint the walls in the nursery, but didn't know when we'd have the time. Taco wasn't going to be in her room the first few months, but we also had a lot of unpacking and settling in to do in general. A couple of friends offered to paint it for us and we loved the end result! Here's your before and after.
7. We sold our condo
It was so sad for us to let this go, but the decision wasn't a difficult one to make in the end. We couldn't imagine trying to take on being landlords for the first time when our lives were already changing so drastically. I still miss this place, but having a larger space with a back yard wins tenfold.
8. Baby taco makes her debut!
I went into labor on my due date later in the evening. 28 hours later our snuggly little baby taco came into the world, and on a Tuesday! Taco Tuesday. Although she looks more like a little burrito here, she's still our little taco.
No, her real name is not Taco. In case you were wondering 😉
Here she is at Christmas time. I loved this outfit on her.
And here she is when she was four months old.
She's our perfect little snugglemuffin and we sure do love her to pieces 🥰
Getting back to here
I very much miss sharing recipes and do plan on coming back, hopefully sooner than later! I'm still balancing parenthood, working a full-time job, and house stuff (turns out when you move just before having a baby, you never fully feel settled in even after the boxes are gone). So I don't want to make any promises. I still have plenty of content that needs sharing already so I'll be working on stuff as I get to it. Hopefully that means I'll have a new recipe for you in the next couple of weeks! If not, I can at least guarantee it won't be another year.
I hope you enjoyed this update if you've read this far. I'm excited to share more with you soon! xoxo