Friday, February 28, 2014


Yesterday morning was one of those mornings that I woke up feeling like I might still be asleep and I couldn't quite tell.

If I was dreaming, the dream went something like: Sloane was in a good mood. Ken was reluctant to get out of bed so early. I was surprised to discover it was light out at 6:15AM, I ate bagels. Eden wrapped her fingers through my hair. We prayed. I got to work and drank three cups or coffee. My necklace felt heavy and gave me a headache.

There are things like this, when you wrap your hands around a warm coffee mug and a baby wraps their hands around you, and you wrap yourself around friends and open up to listen, and you slowly start to wake up in your mind. It feels most like being released from a Charlie horse. But in your mind!

That first picture up there is from a soup party we had this past weekend. For want of a quick centerpiece I ran outside and snipped some leaves off the trees and tossed them into mini wooden crates.

That same weekend, the weather was glorious and we were moved to give the house a good clean. I can really understand how that warm spring breeze makes you want to make your space nicer and cleaner. Come in, warm breeze! Make yourself at home. 

Unfortunately, I woke up again this morning feeling the puny-ness of the 3.5 hours of sleep I got last night. Fortunately, today is Friday and I am resolved to make the best of a still-winter weekend!  

A few stories and words to help you get through this Friday:

This week's Radiolab, which woke up my brain yesterday. 

My sister did a great job blogging some of NYFW at La garconne

This interesting New Yorker article and this delightful article from McSweeny's.

...Speaking of, where ARE my furs? 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014


I'm well aware that we still have about three weeks of winter left, but since it feels like we've over-served our time in the depths of winterdom, I am sure that it makes sense to be thinking about summer now. Plus, the really nice weather we had this past weekend was like being given permission to start daydreaming about the t-shirt dresses I want to be slouching about in all summer. 

And why not share these daydreams so that we can all start willing the weather to turn warmer? I'm inspired by these pieces to keep my eye out for similar pieces that are more within my price range, so let's do this.  

Many of the the outfits that I was drawn to were all loose, looked really comfortable and had pockets. Dresses like the grey sweatshirt dress by Steven Alan and the dress profoundly called, "the dress" by Hope are both so simple and classic that they would be great for being accessorized in different ways. I'm thinking dainty gold jewelry when I'm feeling classy and pops of neon when I'm feeling funky.  

And then we have this jumpsuit by Emerson Fry and the t-shirt dress from Rag & Bone, both of which look like they would be great for running errands in the daytime and then also for getting fancied up later in the night.

And you know I would live in this striped smoking dress by Horses Atelier if given the chance, right?

Basically I'm saying that I want to feel like I'm wearing pajamas all day and I know we are all okay with that.

Monday, February 24, 2014


The other week, Ken came home from the grocery store with a butternut squash. "You bought a butternut squash?" I asked, genuine surprise in my voice. I know my husband can cook, but he just hasn't been; he hadn't tasted a butternut squash until a few months ago and he especially didn't do things like make butternut squash soup to just have around the house. But there he was, hacking into that squash in the kitchen, looking quite like the manliest man I ever did see, and looking up recipes to try. 

It is a sexy thing, when your husband roasts a butternut squash, caramelizes onions and apples, cooks it all up together with chicken stock and coconut milk, spices it up and blends that baby up in a a creamy, delicious soup.  It turned out to be one of the best things he's made and you can find the recipe here, if you want to try it for yourself. 

You guys, he's doing it, cooking for us for the second week in a row and in a lot of ways, he's better at being efficient.  I'm going to give myself more points for creativity, but he gets most of the points for things like cleanliness and organization. 

We have things to learn: he's learning how to be gracious and cook things like butternut squash, I'm learning how to be more efficient and enjoying the heck out of eating the things he is cooking.

Thursday, February 20, 2014


Sometimes, I’m amazing at being patient. I’m practically a saint! My inner voice says. I mean, in these days, to be as patient as you are, that really means something.  And I have come a long way.  I was relieved when maturity mellowed me out, refined my rough edges and turned me into a much more patient person.  But I should also point out that Ken is still more of a patient person than I am, THANKGOD for that, or else we would have a real firestorm on our hands. More of a firestorm than we have now, and what we have now is a good manageable amount.

I’ve had a lot of cringe-worthy realizations lately;  I’m in that kind of heap right now where you spot old and unwelcome habits creeping back in. But, but but…. I have so many reasons, justifications, for why I’m hurried, exasperated, tense.  Maybe if he was a little more considerate, maybe if I had this and this job, maybe if I had more time, maybe if this stupid winter was over….But really, do I want my strong character to grow based on only good circumstances? What a poor construction that would be, how useless it would be in the face of a storm.

Because other times, I am horrible at being patient. I dislike this about myself greatly, and can’t help but wince when I hear that tone in my voice that is so grating and unfriendly. I work so hard on my tone, because the way that someone speaks to you, it matters, a whole lot.

And if you do some thinking, you realize that the opposite of patience can so loudly communicate annoyance, disdain, pride, scorn...hatred? It's a slippery slope. 

So I’m self-administering the medicine of luxuriating. 
The luxury of language. Of choices.  The luxury of scooping a well-ripened avocado out with a spoon to eat, of quiet, of a car to drive, of layers of clothing. The luxury of a warm body next to me in bed at night. The luxury of endless hugs, of a new morning. The luxury of forgiveness.

The luxury of watching my husband wash my baby's hair in the sink. 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


What a strange strange week it has been. Strange and sad, but also, there is

an unexpectedly sunny day, a getaway lunch, food that feeds the soul and the palate, a quiet neighborhood, baby's arms around my neck, husband's hands cradling my face.

A meal worth waiting for: roasted red pepper and mozzarella cheese topped with olive oil and basil, glass of red wine, French bread with butter.

There is always something to hold on to, always something to let go of.

Sunday, February 16, 2014


1. I feel a little awkward documenting this because my inclination is to rebel against things that smell like a diet, but I’m fascinated by reading up on other people’s eating habits and I’m a huge believer in nutrition-led health, so this may be worth a numbered list. 
2. We are on Day 29, so tomorrow is our last day. 
3. People have been asking me how I feel, and physically, I don't feel any different than I did before.  I think it is worth noting here again that eating a protein and a vegetable is primarily how I eat my main meals anyways, which is why the effect may have been minimal.  It is also worth noting that I didn't do this because I wanted to cure ailments and I didn't do this because I was eating badly.  I do know people have have done this to help with headaches and IBS, and found the program to greatly improve their well-being. 

4. I think the primary effect has been on the mental. As I explained hereI started this as a reset and detox, and that’s still primarily my outlook on this.  It was an interesting experiment to see if I could do it (I can), to see if Ken could do it (he can!), and to show my body that it can thrive on whole foods like meats, vegetables and good fats. The thing that I was most nervous of cutting out was dairy and alcohol, but it didn't prove to be that much of a problem. 

5. There is also a change physiologically, as well. Apparently, what our bodies should be doing now after this program is burning fat, like it is meant to do, instead of sugar. Since sugar is in everything these days, we consume way too much  of it as a society, and that trains our body to burn sugar instead of fat, which is not how our bodies are supposed to run. 
6. It got verrry time-consuming to cook everything from scratch. But I think I gained a lot of experience and knowledge while cooking Whole 30 meals; it makes you think about cooking with fresh eyes. One of our favorite recipes from this program is the plantain lasagna, which is pictured above, and is surprisingly delicious.

7. I actually got tired of eating meat after a while. We were eating a meat, vegetable and fat at every meal, and at around Day 20 or so, I had to take a break from eating meat for a couple of days.

8. I have gained such an even greater appreciation for ALL foods. And I can't wait to go back to eating well-balanced nutritious meals that include the occasional glass of wine, slice of hearty brown bread and cheese.

9. What has been the MOST surprising throughout all this is the change that Ken went through. During the first week, he was struggling with the restrictions and said that food stopped tasting good to him. But by the last week, he said food started tasting good again - and not just the regular food that we were eating - food that he used to not like before, all of a sudden started tasting better, like yellow and orange bell peppers and roasted butternut squash.

10. Ken sees the benefit of this program that he decided he wants to stick with being intentionally about eating well. He is transitioning from Whole30 to eating Paleo and he is so serious about this that he has decided to take over the least for this week. You guys, when my husband is serious about something, he's serious about it.  He spent last night and all day today, cutting, prepping and pre-cooking our meals for this week. He's taking it on and he's doing it in the methodical, detailed, and organized way that he does; I'm glad I have front-row tickets to this.

And lastly, Sloane wasn't doing Whole30, but here she is, keeping papa company while he chops, eating like a champ, wearing a Daddy's princess bib that is way too small for her.

Thursday, February 13, 2014


She takes my face in both of her small hands. She tilts her head from side to side, her hands cradling my face, looking at me carefully. 'Mommy,' she concludes, happily.

I have a one and a half year old daughter (!!) now and it is always the most glorious of things and often the most exhausting of things.  There are days when I have a million things on my mind and the day has been long and unkind, and she is cranky and clingy in a way that wears me down to my bones. But then she will all of a sudden yell, "Dince (Dance)!!" with desperation in her voice and motion to my phone, asking me to turn the music on, and I do, and then she proceeds to do a heartfelt dance with all of her little body, looking at me for approval and grinning back at me, and my heart explodes and melts down my thorns. 

There are other days, when she is so sweet that it impresses me. She can be so good at playing by herself by stacking blocks, taking care of her stuffed bunny, 'cleaning' the floors, carrying around a pail full of small items, arranging pens, etc. and this is usually what she is doing while I cook. Watching her play so well by herself makes me feel proud and also feel excited for when she maybe has a sibling to play with (but no not yet, noooott yeeet). 

One of my favorite things about what she can do now is that she understands and knows how to wait. She has REALLY caught on to the word, "mommy" and will repeat it endlessly in order to show me something or in order to ask me to come help her with something. If I am wrist deep in raw chicken, I'll ask her to hold on or to please wait, and she will comply, standing by my legs, waiting patiently until I am done.  Often times I'll say, "I am doing such and such but I will be with you shortly, please wait, ok?" And she'll reply, "okay".

She does this thing where she will start reaching for something and if she knows that it might not be allowed, she looks at me, her face asking me if it is okay.  She knows so many words, and many of her words are indiscernible but I am getting better and better at decoding. Her first sentence appears to be, "Sit down!" ordering me to sit down next to her to play.

It's also nice that she has caught on to the word, "yes", which is a nice change from "no!"  We ask her yes or no questions and I'm tickled whenever she replies accordingly. "Do you want to get ready for bed?" "Yes," she'll reply solemnly, if she's tired. "Do you want an apple?" "Yes!!" she'll yell and flush with joy.

Because she is so vocal these days, it always surprises me when she clams up in front of other people that she is not familiar with. It's a thing that babes go through, apparently, to establish safety and a home base, but it always surprises me to see her act with such caution. And maybe it's a part of her personality? Sometimes I take a look at her through my objective lens and marvel at how much of a whole person she is, separate from me. Who IS this person? I ask myself. What a joy and responsibility it is to learn who she is!  

Monday, February 10, 2014


As much as I want to be hibernating during the winter ("You're like a bear," Ken said to me the other day. "You should be holed up in a cave right now, sleeping away the winter." This was after a particularly cranky rant from yours truly), it makes even more sense to go to the places where friends gather and garner warmth from their presence.  That's one of my 'survive the winter' tips - snuggle up to friends. In this case, make sure to include your babies. Glitter, finger paint, and cupfuls of fruit also help.  

When we walked in, Sloane was slung over my shoulder in slumber. Simone ran over to us, excited, and peered at Sloane, probably thinking that walking in asleep was no way to start a playdate.  Sloane soon blinked her eyes open. "Can we walk together?" Simone asked, looking for Sloane's hand to hold.

I handed each of them a cup of fruit, and they ran off together, showing each other their cups and happily leaning against the wall to pose for the camera and reap their spoils. Two tiny gentlemen - Elijah and Os - also proved to be splendid playmates, and led the way in the ensuing morning adventures. 

At one point, the babes starting running around in a circle - who was chasing who, no one seemed to know, but they were all being chased - and having THE BEST TIME. They were all laughing hysterically and I about exploded from joy watching them.

It feels like being in the presence of a miracle to behold the faces of my friends represented in miniature form on the faces of their babes and to be able to watch these little spirits shine and laugh and spend the morning with each other.