Football season… already!?

So, it’s September. Along with Brandon’s last school year starting, Michael turning one, and fall TV and weather returning, it’s time to dust off our football gear and get ready for the NFL and NCAA football seasons.

We’re Seattleites who support the Seahawks, but the Broncos are our main NFL team. (And here.)

Of course, we have to dress the part!

We've got Bronco spirit!

We’ve got Bronco spirit!

Michael outgrew last year’s outfit (he was so little!)…

Our little fan watching the pre-game

Our little fan watching the pre-game

And this year’s arrived last week.

Michael's 2016-17 Bronco outfit is here!

Michael’s 2016-17 Bronco outfit is here!

While we were ordering Bronco gear, I went ahead and updated my look too: new orange sweatpants! Brandon has been an avid Bronco fan since he was in utero and he has a plethora of game day attire. My sister gave Brandon this Bronco sweater for his birthday this year, so I imagine we’ll see it a lot this fall!

Since the Broncos are the reigning football world champions, we’ll of course be celebrating the season kick off and SuperBowl 50 rematch on Thursday.

I’m thinking something easy and delicious, probably pulled pork. Maybe pulled pork tacos? Or nachos? If you have any great ideas, I haven’t made the menu yet, so I’m all ears! Please share your great plans for the 2016-17 NFL (and college! Our fan photos will come soon!) season and enjoy! Go Broncos and go Seahawks! (That’s for you, Peter and Molly!)

 

 

My new favorite thing: Chatbooks

Have you seen the app Chatbooks yet? It’s one of my new favorite things and I can’t stop singing their praises.

I discovered Chatbooks on Instagram through a sponsored post, while I was on maternity leave. I had nothing but time on my hands (at least when the kid was nursing, he wasn’t very good at sleeping reliably…) so I clicked on the ad and discovered a very reasonably-priced, creative, and super easy stocking stuffer idea. This would also make a great Father’s Day gift, which is coming up in a few short weeks!

Simply put, Chatbooks is an app that allows you to upload photos and create 8″ x 8″ softcover books.

My favorite option from Chatbooks: auto books. I’m rather prolific with posting of Michael photos on Instagram and I’ve set up my Chatbooks book by simply using a hashtag on the Instagram photos I want to include in my book.

IT’S THAT EASY!

Every 60 photos, Chatbooks emails me to review my book and three days later, it prints and ships! …And I’m working on volume nine. NINE. (That’s more than one per month!)

I’ll bet you’re glad I finally filled you in on my overuse of the #babymichael hashtag on Instagram, right? Now you know!

My Chatbooks. Book #8 should arrive soon!

My Chatbooks. Book #8 should arrive soon!

Accidental blog hiatus

Whoops! It’s been awhile since I’ve blogged. Being a working mom is a lot of work and sadly my blog-writing time has dwindled. I’m very sorry for this hiatus and I figured I’d show you what I’ve been up to.

I hope to get back to it soon, so please keep checking back! Thank you for reading!

Baby Michael: Month 1

Baby Michael: Month 1

Baby Michael: Month 2

Baby Michael: Month 2

Baby Michael: Month 3

Baby Michael: Month 3

Baby Michael: Month 4

Baby Michael: Month 4

Baby Michael: Month 5

Baby Michael: Month 5

Baby Michael: Month 6

Baby Michael: Month 6

Baby Michael: Month 7

Baby Michael: Month 7

Birth announcements

Baby announcement

Our very special delivery!

Michael recently celebrated his five-month birthday and we celebrated by finally getting his birth announcements in the mail! A few months later than I had hoped, but, that’s how things are these days. As I was preparing to send out Baby Michael’s birth announcements, I did some research and stumbled across something great: you can get a welcome note for your new child from the President and First Lady! Send them an announcement or submit the information online.

It’s super quick and easy to do and look what came in the mail the other day:

A welcome note for Michael from President and Mrs. Obama

A welcome note for Michael from President and Mrs. Obama

We also sent an announcement to Mickey and Minnie Mouse. (We haven’t received anything back yet!) If you’re Catholic, you can send an announcement to the Pope for a blessing. Find all of the details on Parents.com.

And since I’m people who knows people, Mayor Ed Murray, the mayor of Seattle, proclaimed Michael’s birthday as a “day” in the city of Seattle. This proclamation is amazing:

Michael Carl Szerwo Day in the City of Seattle

Michael Carl Szerwo Day in the City of Seattle

I worked for the Seattle City Council when Brandon and I got married. The Council members proclaimed our wedding day a “day” in the city of Seattle too! Mark your calendar to celebrate Michael Szerwo Day this year: only 6.5 months to go and at the speed time is flying by these days, it’ll be here before we know it!

Christmas 2015 recap

Somehow the holiday season is already wrapping up and I’ve been getting ready to go back to work (!!!). Baby vacation is officially over on Monday. What a crazy wonderful past four months I’ve had! I digress. Let’s focus on the past week or so. Here is our Christmas 2015 recap:

Michael visited his first (and second) Santa and did a stellar job! He’s such an adorable kid. (‘Course I’m biased, since I’m his mom…)

Michael's first Santa photo

Michael’s first Santa photo

Michael was skeptical with his visit to the Santa at Theo Chocolate

Michael was skeptical with his visit to the Santa at Theo Chocolate

New Christmas Eve tradition

Michael, Brandon and I started a new tradition: reading the Polar Express before heading to bed on Christmas Eve! Michael didn’t quite understand the story yet, but he will in a few years.

Christmas morning brunch

My parents came over bright and early on Christmas morning and we made the fontina and spinach baked eggs with garlic brown butter breadcrumbs from the latest cookbook we’re cooking from, Seriously Delish, along with hashbrowns; a fruit salad of pineapple, blueberries and raspberries; and chicken sausage. We paired it with mango mimosas. Truly seriously delish.

Christmas morning brunch

Christmas morning brunch

Christmas tamales 

As I mentioned last week, we have a tradition of making tamales for Christmas. This year we made them on Christmas day.

Christmas evening tamales

Christmas evening tamales

We followed our recipe, but this year paired the tamales with some black beans, queso fresco, toasted pumpkin seeds, a kale salad with a spicy lime vinaigrette, and red and green tortilla chips with homemade guacamole. I think this will be our new usual. The whole meal was delicious!

Our Christmas night feast

Our Christmas night feast

Christmas treats

I also made a recipe that I’ve been lusting over for a few weeks: the clementine-cocoa nib meringues from Eating Well. (We picked up the nibs while Michael visited with the Santa at Theo!) These were super easy to make and delicious.

Clementine-Cocoa nib meringues: SO GOOD.

Clementine-Cocoa nib meringues: SO GOOD.

I did run into one snag however. It’s very important that you break up the chocolate nib/powdered sugar combination before you fold it in to the meringue. I wasn’t as diligent about it and chunks of chocolate got stuck in the tip of the piping bag and made things trickier.

Our family feast

We concluded the Christmas weekend with a prime rib feast at my parent’s house, with asparagus, potatoes, and a delicious salad, paired with a pinot noir. The place card snowmen I made last week completed the table scape!

Our Christmas 2015 feast

Our Christmas 2015 feast

Our place settings

Our place settings

Here are a few more of my favorites from this year’s Christmas celebrations:

Santa's little helper

Santa’s little helper

Three generations on Christmas!

Three generations on Christmas!

Santa Baby!

Santa Baby!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and 2015! Cheers to an even better 2016!!

Thanksgiving {2015}

With the excitement of the holidays and a newborn who isn’t fond of napping, my posts are a little delayed these days. But, without further ado, some photos from this year’s Thanksgiving extravaganza.

First, we’ll start with our little turkey. Michael sported a Babies ‘R Us onesie and was a champ. He met my extended family, in town from California, and even decided to nap a wee fit, obviously exhausted from the festivities.

Our little Thanksgiving turkey

Our little Thanksgiving turkey

Not knowing how much time we’d have to prep a dish for the celebrations, we brought appetizers. I was able to find the time (no more than an hour required!) to prep not one but two platters.

I took inspiration from my platters from 2013 and 2014 and created an antipasti tray and vegetable platter.

Thanksgiving antipasti tray

Thanksgiving antipasti tray

Thanksgiving vegetable tray

Thanksgiving vegetable tray

The “turkey heads” are easy to make. Start with a smallish lemon with a bit of a stem nub. Then, whittle a carrot beak and glue it, a “hat” and some candy eyes onto the turkey with super glue. Hats can be anything from a radish top, broccoli, cauliflower, or something inedible too! Once you have your hat, make sure both of the surfaces are dried off, to the best of your ability. This will help the glue stick.

Thanksgiving platter turkey "heads"

Thanksgiving platter turkey “heads”

The trays are easy to create as well. A quick trip to the store a couple of days before the holiday will suffice, with about an hour of “construction” time the morning of the holiday:

The antipasti platter: 

  • Cured meat three-pack from Costco
  • ~1 lb Beecher’s Flagship cheddar cheese (Costco)
  • A wheel of brie (Costco)
  • Trader Joe’s new four-olive medley
  • Marinated mushrooms (Trader Joe’s)
  • ~1 lb of reduced fat smoked gouda (Trader Joe’s)

The vegetable tray: 

  • 1 head of broccoli
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 1 bag of baby carrots
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 2 cans of whole baby corn
  • 1 can of asparagus
  • 1 heart of celery
  • A couple of tomatoes
  • Not pictured: Fat-free sour cream with the Hidden Valley Ranch powder packet mixed in. (My favorite veggie dip!)

Here is a photo of the table, with my Aunt capturing the spread from a different angle. It was fun having such a large group (19 people!) to celebrate the holiday!

Our Thanksgiving set up

Our Thanksgiving set up

I also put my new modern calligraphy skills to use (did I tell you that I recently took a class with some girlfriends and discovered a new talent!?) and made place cards for the dinner. Don’t they look nice? I’m so impressed with myself– and clearly very humble!

Place cards by me!

Place cards by me!

I hope these inspire you to make a meat and cheese or veggie platter next Thanksgiving. Now I’m off to help Christmas explode all over our house! Photos to follow!

Introducing Michael Carl

Without further ado, I’d like to introduce my one-week-old son, Michael Carl.

"Hello, world. I'm Michael."

“Hello, world. I’m Michael.”

Megan's Island's newest resident

Megan’s Island’s newest resident

Michael was born at on Tuesday, September 15, 2015. He’s a prompt fellow and I started the laboring process on his due date, approximately 22 hours before he made his grand entrance into the world. 

He weighed in at 7 lbs, 15.3 ounces and measured a lengthy 21.25 inches.

Michael's favorite position: sleeping soundly during the day

Michael’s favorite position: sleeping soundly during the day

Bath time was a success!

Bath time was a success!

This way to the gun show, ladies!

This way to the gun show, ladies!

Nice to meet you!

Nice to meet you!

For many, many, many more Michael photos, check out my Instagram.