brothers.Print Recipe Print Recipe


I cried when we found out we were having another boy.

In my head, I thought having a girl was the only thing that made sense while we were in the middle of caring for our mom. Everyone thought it was a girl.

Except mom. She didn’t even hesitate when she said it either. It was like, obviously, why would you think it was a girl?? But I brushed it off. With the brain tumor affecting her the way it had, there was no way she could be right.

She passed away a few weeks after that.

The day of mom’s celebration of life, we had our 22 week ultrasound and found out we were having another boy.

Of course mom was right. And having him here, I’m happy that she was right.



These two are inseparable.

Every morning they have to be together. Or more Mason needing to snuggle up to Gray. I don’t set any of this up – it’s all them. I set a blanket down on Mason’s floor and the two just giggle, babble and get as close to each other as they can. I’ll usually change Mason first, and then Gray. They’re a great distraction for each other and less of a fight for me.



Getting through our first year without mom has been really hard, but these boys have brought more joy than I could have ever imagined.

I mean, look at those faces.



I’m pretty sure Mace can do no wrong in Gray’s eyes. Although, every time mace does something he’s not suppose to, I give gray a look like, “don’t even think about it… ”

I’m so excited to watch these two grow up together.

I know they aren’t perfect and they’ll give me grey hair, but they have such a sweetness about them. I feel so lucky to be their mama.



Sometimes I joke that I’m no longer needed.

Mason will help feed him the bottle, run and grab burp rags, throw diapers away, and the best, make Gray stop crying.

I’ve over heard him whispering in Gray’s ear, “gaaay, i missed you. ” or “gaaay, you okaay? ummmm, lemme get your bottle.”

I die, every time.



Now, if only they weren’t so wonderful, I’d stop wanting a third.

I’m 70% certain we’re done…. The problem is, I would even care if I had another boy.

But I’m done.

I think.

*all images are from my iPhone / instagram 

I can only hope this bond takes them to great places. I hope they respect each other. Listen. Be that person when they need bailing out. And of course, always love their mama.

ps. I promise, there will be food again! It’s hard when I only have the weekends to photograph, but I do have a few recipes that I’m excited to share in the next few weeks.



Kale Salad with Peanuts & Queso FrescoPrint Recipe Print Recipe


It’s like I just invited my favorite friend over & she made us all lunch.

I’m so excited to have Kate from ¡Hola! Jalapeño over, sharing this delicious kale salad. Some of my favorite recipes are made by her! Everything she makes is simple, fresh, and Latin inspired. She never disappoints!

And after I make this, I plan to maker her mango-lime agua fresca and Soy (but gf) Sriracha Chicken Fajitas.



Hello friends! I’m so excited to be here today at With Style and Grace. Lisa and I are part of this world of generous souls called food bloggers and Lisa is right at the top of that list so I’m totally thrilled and ever so grateful that she’s allowed me to spread some of my Latin charm on her site.

My blog, ¡Hola! Jalapeño, is full of Latin-inspired recipes. It is a place where vibrant, healthy, and sometimes indulgent combine and I wanted to share one of my favorite salads that combines a little bit of all that here with you today.

I love a good Tuscan kale salad, sliced into little slivers or torn into chunks and rubbed with lemon but my favorite way to enjoy this super-food is in baby form. The miniature leaves are so tender and luscious but packed with all the nutrients of the big stuff. You can buy baby kale leaves all washed and ready to go which makes it even easier to get your greens.

This dressing is eye-popping bright, which is helpful this time of year when my energy level is at about zero. It is loaded with fresh herbs like mint and cilantro, there’s a little lime zest involved, then the whole thing is topped off with apple cider vinegar and some roasted peanut oil. You might have a little left over, so keep it covered in the fridge for perking up some grilled chicken or a piece of fish.

After the dressing is made, the rest is easy street; toast some peanuts (or buy them roasted), sprinkle on some buttery queso fresco and grab a fork. It’s not rocket science, but it sure will make you feel good.


Kale Salad with Peanuts, Queso Fresco, and Mint-Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Makes 4-6

For the Vinaigrette:

  • 1 shallot, minced
  • ¼ cup finely chopped mint
  • ¼ cup finely chopped cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup roasted peanut oil

For the salad:

  • ½ cup raw peanuts
  • 6 cups baby kale
  • ½ cup crumbled queso fresco


To make the vinaigrette, combine shallot, mint, cilantro, lime zest, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Add vinegar and whisk to combine. Slowly drizzle in the oil while whisking constantly until all has been incorporated.  Set aside or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

To make the salad, heat oven to 375°F.  Place peanuts in a single layer on an oven-safe frying pan. Toast in the oven until golden and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Check frequently to make sure they don’t burn. Let cool slightly, then coarsely chop.

Place baby kale leaves in a large bowl; pour half the dressing over the top and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss kale in the dressing to coat; drizzle with a little more if needed. Sprinkle peanuts and queso over the top and serve immediately.




we’re alive.Print Recipe Print Recipe


Well, the past two months have been pretty stupid.

It all started out with Gray who got the 24 hour stomach bug after just two days of being in daycare. I have to say, seeing a little baby throw up constantly, I was in tears. No more, please.

Then the next week, Mason got the WORST flu bug that lasted almost an entire week.  I’ll spare you the details, but it was awful. We had to make a trip to urgent care because we couldn’t stop the vomiting and his fever wouldn’t go down.

Then I got the stomach bug at the tail end of Mason’s flu. I got a liiiiittle too dehydrated that I ended up in the ER. Fluids, check.

Then gray got a cold (same week), which turned into a double ear infection, which then brought us back to urgent care (2nd time for him that week). Super awesome.

Then mace got a cold.

Then daycare called and asked me to pick up Gray because he had a fever (with his cold).

Then I got strep.

Aaaaannnnd then, mace got pink eye.



Oh and while all this was happening, my husband was opening a brand NEW hotel.

Our family CLEARLY doesn’t like boring. I think that’s my takeaway. But at the same time, I still don’t quite understand how this is real life.



This kid had so many baths. He was basically just one big prune.

Even though he was so sick, this was such a peaceful time for him and I. We would quietly sing songs while he just sat there and maybe would pick up a bath toy. He still had his sweet smile and was such a good sport.

I also let him have his pacifier basically, anytime and anywhere that week (usually it’s a bedtime only). So, there’s one reason he had a smile on his face.


Alright, no more. We’re over this flu season, it’s not even funny.

BUT at the end of the day, my kids are relatively healthy and not dealing with something more serious and for that, I’m incredibly thankful.


So, that’s where I’ve been in case you’ve been wondering. And food and I are starting to have a relationship again so maybe I’ll eat something other than soup and grilled cheese and get you all a recipe next week. Assuming, we survive the weekend…<KNOCKING ON WOOD>



Spaghetti with Prosciutto and AsparagusPrint Recipe Print Recipe


This past two weeks, dinner has consisted of cheese and crackers, eating whatever’s left on Mason’s plate or honestly, it’s m&m’s and popcorn. My husband’s job is craaaazy busy and I’m learning what it’s like to be a single (but not) mama. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve showed up to work with wet hair and no mascara.

Survival mode.

I mean, grocery shopping?? I have to grocery shop for the ENTIRE week on Saturday or Sunday because after a full day at daycare, it’s meltdown CITY. You can forget that!

Soooo, after feeling the boys, getting them bathed, in pajamas and in for bed, all I wanted to do was collapse on the couch and watch the trash TV. I mean, come on. That and a bowl of popcorn… maybe some peanut m&m’s… that ain’t all bad.

Ben would come home shortly after the boys bedtime so we’d catch up, maybe watch a show and then climb into bed. Or I’d get in the zone and start laundry, do the dishes, clean the house and then pass out.

I finally drew the line. 1. I needed a real dinner and 2. Ben and I needed something different.



I started us out easy.

First, it’s finding or preparing a meal that doesn’t require too many steps or ingredients, but yet feels fancy (compared to grilled cheese). I’m specifically speaking to moments when you don’t have a lot of time and it’s just easy to pour a bowl of cereal, but crave a home cooked meal. Maybe it helps that I love to be in the kitchen, but when Ben is standing there chopping shallots, and Sam Smith is playing in the background, what’s not fun about that?

And then in the end, you’re eating a delicious meal – TOGETHER. Even if you’re standing and eating it in the kitchen, there’s no judgment.

Of course I’m always inspired by Ashley and her dating my husband series. Cooking together has always been a natural thing for us – when we make the time. Once Ben’s work calms down my goal is for us to cook together through her new cookbook, Date Night In. I truly cannot wait.


Now for the food.

I have a confession. I’m picky and actually kind of snobby about my asparagus.

I only eat the skinny spears. It all changed for me with my first pregnancy. That and a few other random foods like tomatoes (what the hell!?).  If I’m going to eat asparagus, they’ve got to be nice of thin, snappy or crispy spears.

So in creating this meal, I wanted something comforting, but also light.

The sauce was just that. It wasn’t heavy, yet it had a comforting favor with the lemon zest and fresh thyme. Then the vegetable. When I saw the skinny asparagus at my local market, there was my answer. Then on course, if I have asparagus, I need prosciutto.

This meal is really nothing crazy or complex, but it’s a nice way to elevate those boring weeknight dinners and to bring two people together. Magic in meals. I’ll take it.



This recipe is sponsored by one my favorite company’s, DeLallo. They provided me with their gluten-free products as well as compensation. They have everything from the gluten-free pasta options, to the sauces, antipasti, etc. They are top notch. I love them.


Spaghetti with Prosciutto and Asparagus

Serves 2-3 people


  • 6-8oz uncooked DeLallo gluten-free spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 heaping tbsp lemon zest
  • 1/2  lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch ground pepper
  • 1/2 bunch of “skinny” asparagus, blanched – easy tutorial here
  • 1 oz proscuitto, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup shaved parmesan


To prepare the pasta, cook according to package. Preferably al dente.

note: you can either blanch the asparagus while the pasta is cooking or prior. Cut spears into thirds.

to prepare the sauce – In a medium size saucepan add olive oil and warm over medium-high heat. Add shallot, lemon zest, lemon juice, thyme, and salt until fragrant. About 2 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta. Add blanched asparagus and proscuitto and mix together. Top with parmesan and ground pepper.

Serve and enjoy!


*gluten-free *dairy-free without the parm