Books and Reading, Parenting

My Favorite Parenting Books

For a while, I was quite stingy with the parenting books I was willing to read, but in the past year or so I have been more open to reading more parenting books and ignoring the bad and keeping the good, that being said at this point I have read a fair number of parenting books, I am currently reading some and have many more to go, but at this point these are my favorites, in no particular order. Also I am sure some people will scoff at my reading parenting books, but I really like to read so any new topic I want to learn about I typically will pick up books on, to each their own. One final addendum is that my kids are 1 and 3 so take that for what you will.

Good Moms Have Scary Thoughts by Karen Kleiman

I found this book particularly helpful as a new mother. I really struggled with postpartum anxiety and depression, and reading this book helped me realize how normal my experiences were/are and helped me talk about it with my husband in an honest way that didn’t feel shaming or make me feel worse.

The Montessori Toddler by Simone Davies

I appreciated the practical suggestions and nature of this book. It had realistic and honest ways of talking and discussing how to interact and respect kids. I also enjoyed how it gave ideas and phrasing, which I always appreciate to have frames for thoughts and how to help me teach and guide my children.

It’s OK Not To Share… And Other Renegade Rules for Raising Competent and Compassionate Kids by Heather Shucker

I read this book most recently of the ones on the list. I appreciated how it dealt with nontraditional topics in an honest and child centered way. I realize this book won’t be for everyone, but it encapsulates the way I try to raise my kids and I really appreciated how surprisingly comprehensive it was from sharing, to gun control, to exclusion and beyond. I loved the thoughtfulness and intentionality she had and how well researched it felt.

The Danish Way of Parenting by Jessica Joelle Alexander and Iben Dissing Sandahl

I appreciated the ethos of this book. I liked the idea of focusing on less and more simplified interactions and honesty with children about life in general. In the United States, we frequently are told by culture and society to censor kids and I appreciated how this book discussed both living in a way that is honest and authentic with kids and how it focused on modeling for kids how we live as well.

What are your favorite parenting books and which books have you loved or found helpful?

On my list of parenting books I am currently reading include:

  • Raising Antiracist Children by Britt Hawthorne
  • Your Child’s Growing Mind by Jane M. Healy
  • Busy Toddler’s Guide to Actual Parenting: From Their First “no” to Their First Day of School by Susie Allison
  • Under the Chinaberry Tree: Books and Inspirations for Mindful Parenting by Ann Reuthling & Patti Pitcher
  • How to Raise a Reader by Pamela Paul & Maria Russo

Let me know if you want any specific parenting books reviewed, have any additional questions or thoughts.


Time for A Refresh

Every time I refresh my blog I feel a new lease on life. I feel the fresh start and the new ideas and just the joy of doing it again. That being said, with this blog, this time around life takes up much of my time and the reality is that I will not have tons of time to write freely as I once did at least not for a while. Most of my free times are afternoons during naps and that is pretty much the only time I get to myself until the nighttime.

You may notice a new name and a few new pictures. All the old content remains, but this is now a spot for me to write what I want feel like myself and not feel beholden to pie.

To be completely honest, when I started this blog I really did love pie, now I have made many pies, I realize I typically prefer ice cream or cookies, such is life and such is the way of the world, things change and yet life goes on.

Life is too short to be stuck with old names that do not feel true. There is a time for everything, the time for pie was then, the time for everything else is now.

If you need permission for a refresh, take it, take care of yourself, and life your life how you want, trusting that the past need not hold you back in the future.

Blogging, Books and Reading

Book Lists

One of the things I have come to really love in my time away from writing is reading. I have been on a reading binge, mostly romance, but also many nonfiction, parenting, kids books and the like. My plan going forward on this blog is to start to share books that I like around themes, as large and profound as parenthood and as small and mundane as containing pugs. I feel like reading and writing about books is what I appreciate and enjoy at this time. Ergo that is probably most of my posts as the time goes on. If there are any book lists you would appreciate, let me know below in the comments and I will try to share them.

About, Blogging

Happy New Years

It has been a long while since I have blogged. In the meanwhile, I have had two kids and I tried out a blog on Weebly, but I miss the ease and simplicity of WordPress so I am back, here, writing to you and mostly for myself. I have missed the catharsis that is writing. I have missed having the time and space to process in text and so dear reader, I hope you will welcome me back to the world of this blog and to my own little corner of the internet. I hope you have a wonderful new year and I hope I do too!


Moving Blogs

Image of google maps my location to home with no routes found.
I have to find a new path and a new home in the blogging world.

I know I have not been here long, but I am sad to share I will be switching my blog from this location to another. I will be moving my food content to my Weebly blog. You may be surprised to hear that I have a Weebly blog, and to be honest I took a long hiatus from posting on it and started this one instead. The truth of the matter is that WordPress, the version I use has made it a real struggle to post recipes. The cost is too prohibitive to be posting recipes here so instead I will be using another set of tools at my disposal and be posting on that site instead. I am sad to go and I have loved this platform, but I want to be able to continue to cook and create and I am not able to do so here. I have loved getting to know each and every one of you who has followed me here and I am sad to go, but I love to create too much to let this site hinder my creativity. If you want to follow me there my site is

All The Best,


P.S. I have a great Stir Fry Recipe posting on my Weebly site soon and I hope to see you there!

About, Blogging

Future Content

Image of a Japanese temple with a flared roof and trees in front.
We visited this Japanese temple a few weeks ago.

I am working to plan out future content and I figured who better to ask for thoughts than my current readers. What do you prefer I write about? Any topics you want me to cover? Here is what I have mostly written about in the past -food, books and reading, travel, exercise, and my thoughts on life. If you have any specific ideas please share them below. I just went to Japan and could write about that experience, I could also review local restaurants. I am working on more food and recipe posts but because I do not have an infinite budget and testing takes me quite a bit of time until I get it right, I do not share recipes daily, it just does not currently work for me, but I can work on specific recipes or share what I am cooking or working on? I also can share about other food or book related topics or about my life in general, just let me know below in the comments and I will work on it in coming weeks.

Any questions you want answers to or want me to look into, please leave them in the comments below!

Things I Love Thursday

Things I Love Thursday

What are you loving? Small or big what is making your life great! I find sharing this to be one of my favorite parts of the week because I appreciate all the little things that make my life great and I start to see the beauty in the daily.

Fresh Food

Image of salad with cherry tomatoes, red pepper, roasted sweet potato, avocado, roasted brussel sprouts, cucumber, pesto, roasted red onion, roasted cauliflower and quinoa over lettuce in a bowl.
Oh salads how I have missed you!

We went to Japan a week or two ago and although we ate some yummy food, specifically ramen and udon noodles. We came back home and all I wanted to eat was a salad. Upon arriving home we filled the fridge with produce and salads have been just want I want to eat on the daily.


I am finding my love for reading again. It had not really gone, but I am just loving listening to audiobooks and reading books I currently own. At the moment I am listening to The Book Thief on audio and loving it. I am also reading How to Talk So Kids Will Listen & Listen So Kids Will Talk, which I already owned and am finding is useful in daily interactions with everyone not just kids.


After our trip, we returned to LA with a long layover and an old friend of ours picked us up at the airport and hung out with us for many hours. I found it so comforting to hang out with friends who I knew and who I did not feel like I had to impress. I am finding that joy in just being myself and being accepted as such.

A Large Fridge

In Japan, grocery shopping happens every few days. I love having enough space and a large enough fridge to shop once per week, to cook and have leftovers to eat for days and to really be able to cook in bulk as I see fit. I am not sure how I would live in a place without the space for food, not that I do not cook often, because I do, but there is joy in simply knowing I do not need to cook.

Being Unplugged

One thing I learned from visiting Japan is that I do not need to have constant access to my phone. I had no cellular service the entire trip and I have found calm in not having to stay connected in that way. Taking the time to be just with myself has shown me that sometimes it is just as fun to sit down with a good book or just be with those around you rather than constantly trying to research (one of my larger obsessions) or trying to stay informed.

What are you loving this week? If you have any suggestions for me I would love to hear them below in the comments.


Preparing for Travel and Return

Traveling is hard enough. How can we make it easier?

CN Tower From Below
CN Tower

One of the things I have started to do is to prepare for traveling in advance. Depending on the scale of the trip this can mean different things.

No matter the trip I always start with the basics. Cleaning my house thoroughly so when I come home I do not have to do a thing. I clean out the fridge, make the beds, wash and put away all the dishes, and take out the trash. I find the calm of a clean worth the work of doing more before we leave.

For local trips or road trips, this means packing up the car and giving travel notices to the bank. We usually bring bags for separating laundry as it accumulates on the trip and for the car to contain the garbage.

For larger trips, this means securing tickets, exchanging currency as needed, and ensuring all items we need are with us before we go, these include outlet converters, extra batteries, charging packs, laundry bags, and ensuring passports are still valid.

We tend to leave packing to the night before because most of what we bring we use on a regular basis and we find packing all at once means less things are forgotten.

When we return, we immediately unpack. I love the feeling of having everything be back where it belongs and have no suitcase to unpack the next day.

How do you prepare for travel? What tips do you do before you leave or immediately upon returning?

Cookbook Review

Best of Cravings Cookbook

I decided two years ago to cook from Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook cravings. I decided this on a whim because it was the best cookbook of the year according to Goodreads. I have in the past two years cooked everything I care to make from the cookbook and below I will share with you the recipes I see as worth having. Through this cookbook, I learned to trust myself in the kitchen, to modify recipes as needed to suit my taste, and that my taste is not the same as Chrissy’s. As I continue to cook, I am learning not to try being anyone other than myself. Out of her recipes the following are the ones I like as is without changes.

Pull-Apart Buttermilk Biscuits with Sausage Gravy

Biscuit topped with sausage gravy

Believe it or not this was the first time I had biscuits and gravy and I found the combination to be sweet and salty and delicious.

Prosciutto Crips

I do not have a picture, but I find this short recipe useful and the prosciutto turns crispy every time.

Cobb Salad with Honey-Mustard Ranch Dressing

Salad with bacon, chicken, corn, avocado, and dressing
This is the kind of salad that doesn’t feel like a salad.

This salad is amazing. I love the dressing and I would eat this everyday.

Pepper’s Scalloped Potatoes

I do not know what it is, but I just loved these potatoes and the way the ham and bacon meld with the potato is just great. My one piece of advice is this is massive so you may need more than one pan. I know I had to split it between two dishes.

Fried Sliced Garlic

I found this to be another useful recipe and you can use the leftover oil as garlic infused oil.

Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce

I am pretty sure this one was so good, my husband barely got any. Oops. I found these to be everything you get at a restaurant in the comfort of your own home. I did much prefer the satay sauce to the other sauce.

Roasted Garlic and Roasted Garlic Oil

Another useful recipe I will come back to again and again.

Honey Balsamic Glaze

A simple way to spice up your balsamic and make all your salads delectable.

Sweet Potato Gnocci

We enjoyed this one quite a bit and made it more than once. I found them to be less scary and quite delicious.

What recipes do you love from this cookbook? Want me to cook through a different cookbook and give you my best of list, if so leave a comment down below letting me know which one

Asian Food, Food, Recipe

Broccoli with Asian Inspired Garlic Sauce

As a child, one of the vegetables we frequently order when we got Chinese food was broccoli with garlic sauce. I found it to be one of the only vegetables I remember that stood alone, not in fried rice or lo mein.

Broccoli with garlic sauce, wooden chopsticks in a blue bowl.
A little goes a long way with the sauce.

I am excited to share I have managed to recreate that experience at home which makes a simple side that takes barely any time at all.

Broccoli with Asian Inspired Garlic Sauce

Broccoli with Asian Inspired Garlic Sauce

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy (about 20 minutes)
  • Print


  • 1/2 pound chopped broccoli florets
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup reduced sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup oyster sauce
  • 1 tablespoon mirin
  • 1 tablespoon sambal oelek
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
1. In a large sauce pan bring 1 inch of water to a boil. 2. Reduce heat to medium and add broccoli. 3. Cook for 5-6 minutes. 4. Meanwhile in a small bowl mix remaining ingredients together. 5. Drain when broccoli is done. 6. To that hot pan add sauce and bring to a boil. 7. Reduce the heat to medium and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently. 8. Serve broccoli with sauce on the side or stirred in.
This recipe makes much more sauce than you need.

What are your favorite vegetable sides? Any recipes you want me to recreate?