hello truelove

hello truelove

♥ Food + Style + Travel + City Living ♥

Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

I cannot believe that my cherry tomato plant is still producing! Having run out of recipes/desire for cherry tomatoes I realized I should at least try and store them up for winter.


We make a ton of recipes that call for a can of fire roasted tomatoes so I figured I’d freeze these and that is one less can I’ll be storing this year. 

I basically used this recipe (if you have all the ingredients the salsa looks pretty amazing, too) and then put the roasted goodness + juices into a glass pyrex dish for freezing. Toss the tomatoes in salt, pepper and olive oil, spray foil lined sheet with oil cooking spray (can throw on some garlic cloves and onions:), broil on highest level (pan as close to flame as possible) for 7-10 minutes until thoroughly charred. Check them half way and turn pan if necessary. 


This would also work great with store-bought tomatoes that aren’t quite as fresh as they used to be. Hope this gives you one more idea for the last of your tomatoes!

Monday Gratitude (Better Late than Never)

Items that bring back memories (this is the sari I wore to my dear friends’ wedding).

Monday Gratitude

The process. Sometimes the whole process is pretty amazing but I tend to focus on the end result. Case in point:

Three Day Potty Training

Oh the glamour of parenting! For you readers who are not following this blog for parenting info please feel free to head on to the next one. I have had several friends ask about how we went about potty training so I thought I’d share the info here as well. 


I did work as an ABA behavioral therapist with young children before going to graduate school so that gave me some basic foundation for understanding rewards and taking good data on actions. Below are five helpful links. I took ideas from a few different sources and cobbled them together to create a plan I thought would work for us and our little guy. 

The most important point in my opinion: Are you (as a parent) ready to put in the time and effort to potty train?

Helpful links…

An ABA based guide (We went more for something like method #2 as our little man is NOT content to sit in one spot for longer than 30 seconds (if that)).

Potty Training in Three Days or Less.

Helpful and Practical Advice from the Trenches: 1, 2

On readiness.

I don’t think your kid needs to be doing all these things. The number one piece is being somewhat excited about using the potty or about being a big kid or even (if short-term rewards are necessary) getting that big reward. I would say our little guy had about 9 out of 13 on the readiness list.

On handling accidents.

Ideas we didn’t try but could be helpful depending on your little one:

Training” a doll & muscle memory

I wanted to get a doll but was done spending and we didn’t already have one and weren’t able to borrow one easily. I think this would have been really motivating.

I do not think the 10x muscle memory thing would have been motivating for our guy- I think it would have been experienced as a punishment. But some kids might find it helpful depending on how they learn.


Phase One: Potty Awareness

  • Let him come to the bathroom with mom and dad
  • Bought a training potty from Ikea (ask if needs to go potty each night before bed- no pushing just for fun)
  • Went to the store and let him pick out his own undies
  • Potty books!


Potty Time Elmo (sound effects were big-time)

Potty Time Boys (its counterpart is probably good too, I’m assuming)


Phase Two: Potty Party

  • The week before potty training we talked with him all week about how the coming weekend would be a potty party and a chance to learn how to pee in the potty.
  • On Saturday morning we woke up and took the diaper off and put some training undies on and had a special breakfast with lots of juice.
  • We made a simple star chart and explained it to him and showed him the special snacks and juice he would have over the weekend for the party.
  • We took him to sit on the potty every 20 minutes and tried to make it fun and light-hearted. When he had his first accident we simply said things like “Oops, pee pee goes in the potty” and “Uh oh, we don’t want wet undies that is no fun, etc.” We were careful to be firm but not upset. One of us would whisk him to the potty then the other would help him clean up after. He really enjoyed little potty songs and dances that mom and dad came up with (and no, I will not be posting a video of those;).
  • We put towels on the couch but mainly encouraged floor play:)
  • The next couple of accidents were less and less and then, when he went on the potty, we both went crazy with dancing and gave him his special snacks, a star on the chart etc. We continued this all day and just tried to do preferred activities with him to keep it fun. 
  • One thing I learned from ABA training is that your reward any morsel of success consistently and go from there. So even if he started to have an accident (despite the impending mess) we’d grab him and have him finish on the potty and have a mini-celebration and a talk. 
  • By the end of the first day he was having more successes than accidents. I would say we had five accidents that day.
  • On the second day, we repeated everything and had only successes. We ventured out for our first outing (but you’ve got to be ready to stop everything at a moments notice so we got this portable potty and it has been a life saver)! We did have an accident or two later in the day but just followed the same protocol- this takes a lot of energy people!
  • On the third day it was just me (I think it was important that both J and I were there for the first two days) and I told him that if he stayed dry all day he could have his special undies. That was very motivating, he stayed dry all day and got his undies. 
  • We put him in diapers for naps and night time.

Note; We still had poop accidents throughout (not many, thankfully) and he typically poops during nap time or at night now.

Prep: Have towels, cleaner, new underwear (these are awesome for starters, before the “fun” underwear your child picks out, snacks and preferred activities ready. We purchased this awesome potty seat and love it- so little mess and fuss- much better than anything else I’ve seen! If I could install it anyone can. We keep the ikea potty in his room for upstairs emergencies and pre-bed claims that he needs to use the potty;)


Phase Three: Shoring Up

I tweaked and adjusted as need be…which I think is one of the most important parts of the process. Keep the drawing board handy in case something isn’t working (after giving it a good go). Sometimes he will have a few accidents in a row just because he having a bad day or too into any given activity. Gotta love that extra change of clothes in the plastic bag!

And we are still working on poop in the potty as opposed to in the diaper at night. I bought this book and some m & m’s and so far there have been more successes and no poop accidents. I think it is pretty normal for kids to delay this a bit longer.

Pull-Ups (not necessary but somewhat helpful for those in-between times like a long car ride or at night). We simply use Huggies night diapers.

ps- I was planning on falling back on this method in case the three-day didn’t work out. It might be a better method if your child is very sensitive or you don’t have the time/energy to impose the structure needed for the 3-day method. The short-term results won’t be the same but the long term will and that is what matters:)

Monday Gratitude

This week: vacation.

Monday Gratitude

This week: surprises.

A neighbor asked if we wanted this “mystery plant” about a month ago and out popped one of my very favorite flowers this week. So glad I took a chance on this Amaryllis:) 

New Recipe: Gigantes Plaki

We whipped this up as a weekend meal and couldn’t have been happier with how easy and satisfying it was. 

We couldn’t find dried gigantes beans so we bought canned cannelllinli beans and baked for 30 instead of 50 minutes. We also used canned fire roasted tomatos which cut down the prep time as well. Minus the feta garnish you could easily keep most of the ingredients on hand and make this any time. Olive oil, onion, garlic, beans, tomatoes, parsley… way better than the sum of their parts (I think it is easy to be jaded about this but I’ll never cease to be amazed at how a list of simple ingredients mingle together to make so much more).


Recipe here. Enjoy!

Birthday Fun

For my birthday this year we had a fun picnic with friends at Fremont Canal Park- I just love this little gem of a park which is along the Burke-Gilman Trail. It is a great place to bring a blanket, relax and watch the boats go by:)


We brought rosemary peach and strawberry basil homemade lemonade and a cheater version (store bought dulce de leche + box cake) of this salted caramel chocolate cake. I’m thankful for another year and a chance to celebrate with friends!

Hello World!

Hello! I’m back from a much-needed break after losing my mom. For those who are still reading- thanks for sticking it out with me! I will probably ease in and switch topics up a bit but I’m glad to be back in this space. I love having this little creative outlet and thank you for sharing my adventures!


I will keep posting on food, decor, toddler tips (I’m desperate for those myself;), Seattle spots, and travel and I’ll also be including new posts on caring for others. As a Christian and a Social Worker this topic has always been near and dear to my heart. And the past few months and years have only reinforced that the kindness of friends and strangers makes life livable in times of crisis and sweeter in every other season. I’m looking forward to frequenting the blog more often and I hope you are, too:)

Monday Gratitude

This week: my mom. If you’ve followed this blog for a few years you may have seen the post about her cancer diagnosis. After treatment, my mom enjoyed a high quality of life (given her diagnosis) for over a year and we have had some wonderful times together. Now, it is time for her to transition to hospice. We are heartbroken but also so thankful for her love, beauty and faith in Jesus. I will be taking a break from the blog to spend time with her and to grieve. Please join me in praying for her and for our family during this time.


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