Tri-Color Gnocchi Skillet with Garbanzo Beans & Spinach

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it yet, but the past month or so I went dairy-free in hopes of preventing some of Amos' ear infections. It's been way easier than I had originally thought and I've come across some great recipes.

Here's one that I absolutely loved, and was SO SIMPLE. no joke.

Tri-Color Gnocchi Skillet with Garbanzo Beans & Spinach

i apologize for the poor quality iphone photography.


1 package of frozen spinach
3/4 whole or chopped onion
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 minced garlic clove (i love garlic so i used like 7)
1 can garbanzo beans rinsed
1 lb pkg tri-color gnocchi
1 can diced tomatoes and chilies

I also added some parsley, crushed chili, salt and pepper, and a little thyme.

Place gnocchi in a pot of water at a rolling boil. Wait, and once 5-6 gnocchi float to the top immediately strain them. They can overcook easily. Drain, set aside. Meanwhile saute onion and garlic in olive oil until onion is transparent. Thaw frozen spinach in microwave while sauteing onion and garlic. Add all ingredients in a lg skillet simmer for 5-10 mins. Enjoy!

Makes about 6 cups. Each serving approx 1 cup.

Number of Servings: 6

So delicious! And the best part is, only 246 calories for a dinner dish. :) My next endeavor is zucchini pasta from Ricky's garden at work. We'll see!

2 year anniversary // a photo a day 6/30 // i'm hungry

i love this photo. my feet were killling me and i had to go shoeless. real life, folks.

so, let me just tell you about our "june" dilemma. i got my first paycheck for teaching the beginning of this month. i got SO excited for the extra cash i threw it all at ricky's school loan and our car loan. our goal is to be debt free by the time ricky is out of grad school (2 more years). that means no school loans and no car loan. i LOVE the feeling of making huge payments on these debts. I LOVE IT. i go crazy for it. i get it from my mama.

well, while this was happening, ricky got SO excited about the extra cash he spent it on some things we needed but were holding off on until we got the money. the adobe creative suite for our new computer is one example.

so without communicating we both not only spent the extra cash, but some of our necessary living cash. here we were on the 5th of the month with NO money. this is all very ironic, because this was the first month our income had pretty much doubled and here we were pennyless.

so, none the less, it's been an interesting month. it's now June 30th, and we literally have no food in our cupboards. we have some baby food, olive oil, frozen tilapia, non-dairy cream cheese, and some stilllllll not ripe avocado's from ricky's work garden.

i'm starving.

we just find this whole ordeal hilarious - and i suppose i would rather spend my cash on school loans than anthropologie sales. or, should i rephrase... of course i would RATHER spend my cash on anthropologie sales, but - i rest easier at night spending it on school loans.

so maybe i'll search the cushions for quarters, or clean out old purses for some gift cards. :)

at least amos doesn't go hungry because my milk is free! oh the wisdom of God.



amos and i doing laundry.

so this was suppose to go into this post... but i forgot. please forgive the array of clothes behind us, and my hideous ensemble - i wish i could look super cute and have these awesome outfits every moment of every day - but you know... let's be reallllll.

plus, i am doing that high-pitched fake laugh because it was CRACKING Amos up prior to the video.
& so here's your weekly dose of amos in action.

Laundry Day from Tiffany Valdez on Vimeo.


for everyone new here, i wanted to highlight some of my all time favorite posts for you to check out!!!

bloody goodbyes
dear adam 
He shall reign

almost baby amos
due date
sunday afternoons
dressed up
vday // 2011
amos vids
boys in the morning

kale chips
couscous stuffed bell peppers

the joy of giving
tenery extravaganza
wedding dreams

birth story:
part 1
part 2
part 3


so here it is.

i am SO behind on everything right now and feel positively awful physically. much of that is due to our horrific weekend of medicines and creams and bleach baths and mayonnaise heads and doctors saying this and doctors saying that and me going potentially mad!


(i will explain soon enough) 

i was unable to tackle any design work and i have some crazy awesome projects to work on for some crazy awesome brides - so i have to get to work. it's a little difficult as mr. amos is in "i love to be held 24/7 - DO NOT PUT ME DOWN EVERRRRR!!!!" mode. i'm not sure if it's all the craziness that was going on or his impending 2 top teeth... or the fact that he just wants to crawl. he can pretty much almost walk (when we hold his arms of course), so we kinda snicker to ourselves when he lunges and rocks and rolls and scoots and almost crawls but just doesn't have it figured out yet. we snicker, BECAUSE, we have this feeling he's going to crawl for about 2 days - and go straight to walking.

hmmm. we'll see. i was in no rush, but now i want the crawling phase to begin just to ease his frustration and fulfill his curiousity.

in other news, i feel a little ill and need to get to bed. i just wanted to give an update?


i don't know.

and such is life, a beautiful moment of posting on God's goodness is followed by a cranky, up way to late lady who needs to rest. oh the fickle human heart!


grandpa jim visit.

so my dad's wife - debbie - uploaded some newer pictures on facebook of their visit to san diego at the beginning of the month. i just wanted to share some. and yes, that is a cheetah. and yes - that is me looking like a frazzled mom holding my 90th percentile weighted son. :)

my dad, amos, and i with my beloved and still truckin' subaru outback.

2 year anniversary // a photo a day - 6/29


after our torturous weekend, ricky and i were able to go on a mini-date this evening. amos was napping at his grandparents and we sneaked away to one of our favorite local coffee shops. i ordered a small, familiar soy spiced chai latte, and my husband a small coffee - his habitual choice which he only drinks 1/4 of the way through. good thing it's always less than 2 dollars.

we sat at a corner table, in a crowded room, and we talked. we, of course, talk every day. but these uninterrupted moments - moments where there seems to be so much to say, so much to discuss, and both of us enter into this grace where we can so perfectly articulate our hearts - these moments are golden.

we talked about the future. so many open doors. ricky's grad school. new decisions about my job, our finances, and where the Lord is calling me to sow my time (and talents). career opportunity overseas. africa. family. faith. our blessed little son.

i finished off my chai, while Ricky's coffee set untouched. we both had tears, at many different moments. tears as we talked about how much we love our mothers and our fathers. how our heart loves so deeply our sisters. how incredible the blessing of a child can be. how good the Lord is.

i mean, really, how GOOD the Lord is.

and so we remember why we fell in love. why the Lord put us together. why we are still alive and breathing and under the glorious umbrella of that goodness that is chasing us down every day.

to Him be the glory, forever and ever - amen.


2 year anniversary // a photo a day 6/27 & 6/28


one of my favorite moments. i love my bestest of friends.



days before the wedding. i am most likely stressed to the max. that was our beach apartment - i miss it and all the memories it holds.


2 year anniversary // a photo a day 6/26

i'm a little behind, but i plan on catching up! here's the photo for today:

traumatic weekends + incredible son = not so bad.

it has been the most intense 4 or 5 days. pretty wretched, to say the least.
i'll share what we went through soon enough, but right now i'm still a little too traumatized to blog about it.

it was just a super FRUSTRATING situation that took over our house. eeeesh.

in other news, amos is as precious as ever. here he is showing off his 2 bottom teeth, his love for hangers, and his, now, extremely too small "someone who loves me very much went to jamaica and got me this t-shirt" from his wonderful grandpa jim.

p.s. thank you so much for all the votes!!!


old videos, part 1.

so as i was browsing through my youtube videos...  (long story on how i got into that situation), i found some old memories i thought i'd share.

bread co. memories with my dearest tara. i'm loving our high school fashion.

low sound, but this is right when i left kansas city and moved to san diego.

brittany, my most talented friend.

my hair is super blonde and alex hands me a frog?

night watch video creating with my dear amanda, back from my kansas city days. short hair.

yardsaling diaries.

that's nate, her husband.

a strange creation made while living in kansas city. short dark hair.

amos' mood swings.

2 years

in honor of our upcoming 2 year wedding anniversary on july 31st -
i am going to be posting, along with my regular posts, some wedding photo(s) a day
(in no particular order, rhyme, or reason) and/or pictures of memories with Ricky.

***extra note
i wasn't too fond of my wedding photography or wedding photography experience for lots of reasons and it's burdened me ever since... (i mean you get ONE shot at this!), but i suppose life and marriage is less about wedding pictures and more about the covenant formed before God that shouts of His great love for us, huh? The Lord loves to remind me of these things... bringing the great divide between that which matters (eternity) and that which matters very, very little (the temporal).



i am...

this is something i wrote many years ago, in a season of solitude and singleness. it was a whirlwind of writing and encounter and growth. it's interesting, the descriptions i chose, and how they would differ much from now. i plan on writing a new one, for this new season - but until then i wanted to post it. i challenge all of you to write your own version of a rabbit hole outsiders can peer into that paints a picture of your life right now - the hats that you wear and the stories they create. if you do, please let me know. just the thought of others expressing is fascinating.

you can find much of my writings here or here. i plan to sneak away some evenings, with paper and pen, and let it grow. either on this blog or the other. we shall see...

i am...
a little child awakening from slumber. eight hours, three hours, ten. all curled up in cotton - lying upon the mattress which is lying upon the floor. soaked in sun rays kissing upon skin. knowing not what today holds. a blank letter in a viBRANT envelope. imagining and playing along. this is that. this is there.

i am...
a dancer who dances, mostly alone, through carpeted hallways and kitchen tiles. silent rooms like a silent film, scratch it back, back, back in time. or ribbons and bows of harmony to melodies that tied themselves around my heart, around my feet, to stir up love. sway to the right to the rhythm and bend to the left to the beat.

i am...
a lover. loving. longing to be loved. to taste love or feel it rustle the leaves of my heart. to eat love up like one would swallow the sweetest of candies down into the belly. than breathe out the scent of sugary goodness upon it's partaker. fragrant eating fragrance being its own delight, being your delight, delighting in you delighting in me.

i am...
a writer who houses words within a carcass. a tent of a being that's made of skin and bones where words and sentence and description dwell. the a's and b's are indians chanting in their teepees, burning a fire. but this smoke that arises is pale, pathetic narration's of the hurricane within. rushin' round and round.

i am...
a musician, if only in dreams, for melodies are heard and tinkering of keys within a record player that is playing my vinyl. but there is no megaphone to let the tunes free - singing, singing, singing chained down. the rhapsodies of heaven. the lyrics of prophecies. the braided do, ray, me's of another world.

i am...
an artist of sorts. making that which is like a pressed flower between the pages of the book. hidden from anyone, folded between story and word. it is poor & starving. starving & poor. it is letting this little string of the tapestry hide for another day when it has the hands and dollars and dimes to weave it back together.

i am...
a dreamer. a seer. a participant and viewer of a great, and even grander, theater. watch the heavy, velvet curtain be pulled back upon angel's wings. in the day. in the night. seeing things from other places. other worlds. other times. waiting. wanting. waiting to let them fly free from the cage of the rough pages of the diaries of unknown into the blistered hands of the hungry and upon the parched tongue.

i am...
21 in a world that is but 1-80, yet bought by a God who extends past the numeric line of time. an Infinite where beginning resides and ending finds its home. that which beats within is made up of the same blood type titled eternity - where the zeros never stop nor does the ticking and circling of the hands of the clock.

i am...
a woman. a woman. a woman. a responder. a creator. a connecter. a mother. wanting to feel the contrast. wanting to hold the tomorrow's in the womb of her today and breathe life and beauty onto the coming fields of darkness, little puffs of air from lungs that create lilies hidden in thorns. adorned with buttons of an inner-sanctuary and lace of gentle waves crashhhing upon the rocky shore.

i am...
a nomad, whose unemployed, yet fully alive. letting life live, living life. a wanderer in an unknown land, riding in the carriage of refusal - denying this is home, resisting the roots wanting to go down, down deep into the crumblin' earth, commanding a heart to look towards the time when that Desirous One takes the scroll and makes all things new.

i am...
what i am that i am.

sundays we remember.

our father's day was rather simple. we are especially low on cash, such is the life of babies having babies while paying off school loans and attempting to one day purchase a house in one of the most expensive counties in the nation.

oh well. the love is in the memory.

we had a late lunch with his entire family and then went to our evening church service. after that, we stopped by one of our favorite places in our neighborhood called heaven sent desserts. their bread pudding is to die for, and listen, i didn't even know i liked bread pudding. actually, i don't think i even knew what bread pudding was - but it has stolen my heart. yum.

but they were out, so i bought a piece of white chocolate raspberry cheesecake for ricky with a short coffee, and a soy chai latte for me. then we headed off to the park down the street from our house and ate on the grass while the southern california chilly summer night came upon us.

  it's the greatest gift in the world seeing my husband and my son together.


happy father's day.

my father is a man who has loved me so unconditionally. he believes in my life and has always called forth the giftings God has given me. his heart is tender. he has taught me to love my neighbor and the stranger. his interest in others lives if unmatched. watching him with amos reminds me of how incredible he is with children - even i, when i was young. his hope is in the Lord.

i love him so much.

this picture represents some of my fondest memories of my dad as a child. this was taken by him in our back yard. through his eyes, the song of birds and the colors of spring reveal the beauty and majesty of God. thank you poppy.

richard is a great man who has run the race well before the Lord. he has never given up and his heart is set on a God who gives good gifts. he raised a great son, who is slow to anger and abounding in love. his heart is soft and his spirit willing. he eagerly welcomed me into his home and into his family. he loves and enjoys my son, and i thank God for the example of endurance he has set.

and ricky, the love of my life and the father of our son. his heart is strong. he is the calm waters, the steady rock, and the consistent beat to my ever-chaotic melody. he settles my soul and is a pillar of faith and leadership in our home. i have no doubts in his parenting, as his love is fierce for Amos and his desire is to see him fall madly in love with the One in whom created us all. he has taught me to let my heart sing, to sit and be still, to see the best in my friend and my foe, to trust in the mercy of God, and to love the life i've been handed. i could not dream of a better half to this little human who has stolen our hearts.

thank you, Ricky, for shining the love of the Father always.

and as i've said before, you are the moon that reflects the Son, even in my darkest night hours.

i love you.

happy father's day.


c a r r o t h o u r

he's not the biggest fan of vegetables, so i thought we'd do some experimenting yesterday. i'm not sure if any of the carrots made it into his mouth, or if he even relates carrots to fun... but he sure looked pretty guilty holding that bowl...

 but i couldn't help but kiss his sweet, little carrot stained face.

she's the greatest.

grandma virgie with ricky circa 1986.
we love you, come back soon!


a day at rebeccas

a turkey sandwhich
no cheese, add avocado
my beloved son
a cup to entertain him
san diego summer days
30th street in south park

'twas lovely.

Jesus heals even little ears.


pray for my little baby. this is him at the doctor's office yesterday morning. he has had a reoccuring, double ear infection and we finally got him on a antibiotic that is successfully killing off the bacteria. if the infection comes back, however, he'll have to be referred to an ear specialist - and potentially get tubes in his ears. which, in turn, means they'd have to put him under to have the procedure done. that is the last thing i want, and am praying the Lord breaks in with healing.

ricky was prone to ear infection as a child, and right before he was going to have to get tubes they stopped coming. that's what i'm asking God to do for Amos.

i spy a baby.

in a sea of blankets.


my friends, they got blogs too!

so i wanted to make a post on different blogs i follow. this first set is my dear friends that have blogs who update rather regularly. i just love peering into the journals of my friends. :)

love on the walls - my dearest friend alex has a lovely blog (though she doesn't update often, maybe this will encourage her to do it more!) her life is full of beautiful detail, as she has such an eye for it.

mike + brit - i get the giddiest when this blog pops up on my bloglovin news feed. she lives the most beautiful life in canada with her husband and little kitty piper - plus she has a beautiful, BEAUTIFUL heart hungry for the Lord and in love with his Word.

S.L.C. - my fellow san diegon, and treasured friend. her heart is vast, and her life is always on the move (law school, gardening, worship leading, etcccccc). she is one of the most well-rounded people i know, and her blog shows it.

jared haskell photography - incredible photography. bottom line. worth checking out for sure.

claire noel - another incredible photographer friend. ricky and i are planning on flying her into san diego to visit us and take some family photos. her eye finds the most sincere, touching images - of people and the things in her day to day.

theLAvirgin - my los angeles fashionista blogs about her first encounters and experiences with the fast paced life of LA, as she was born and raised in Michigan. she's a genius and she's gorgeous. 

and there is many more - and once they start blogging more i'll be sure and show them off to. :)