Tuesday, September 30, 2014


I'm trying to refrain from the drama, but let's be real, the end of summer means turning down the dial of life a little bit. "Don't you just love fall?" they'll ask. And I do. I love the cobalt blue skies and crisp air, the colored leaves and harvest of autumnal vegetables. And best of all, the apples. There are things I'm excited about, believe you me. But also, there are less hours of daylight to work with, the cold air seeps into my bones and never leaves, my skin shrivels, and each trip out the door means a whole production of gathering up socks and jackets.

Last week, fall arrived, not with trumpeting skies, but with the grey skies and rain. I was under-dressed for such weather, couldn't get warm, my skin got dry like the desert, my hair got static-y and I couldn't settle into my skin.  (Yes, I realize I'm complaining about how it's getting slightly colder, and it's terribly silly, but I'm writing my feelings and trying to climb up a hill of optimism. Here it comes...)

What to do? There are remedies for rainy days (on a side note, I was texting with my sister that day and she was saying how she loves a good ol' grey and rainy day...so........there's some perspective for you), and I'm good at self-medicating.  I'll make a ceremony and celebration out of the small things when I want to connect. And I'll curl up on the couch under a blanket, with a book, in order to feel quiet.

Here are some tiny-sized stories about connecting:


That same rainy night, I went over to a friend's in the evening for a nightcap of sorts. We made coffee bourbon cocktails (which is my favorite right now) and snacked on potatoes fried in duck fat, smoked salmon, brie and sauteed greens. We sipped and ate with our fingers. We discussed hope. By the time I left, it was late, and it had stopped raining. The brisk air was positively refreshing. It'll be okay! I reassured all of my faculties.


Since then, there have been warm days (Thursday was sunny, and we went to the State Fair on the following Saturday, which had us sweating, gloriously, all day long), but I've felt the need to carry on with filling these innards with comfort food, and have pep talks about the end and beginning of things. On this particular Friday night, when it was just me and Soane for dinner, I cooked up shakshuka, a Middle Eastern dish that is eggs poached in tomatoes and loaded with spices. We sopped it up with baked pita chips, and spoonfuls of avocado in the intermissions.  It went down like a hug.


Since it gets darker sooner, Sloane has been getting more glimpses of the moon, and she has been a darling child of the moon. As we are driving, she'll shout out to me that she has spotted it, and then gasp when it disappears from sight. "It's gone!.....Is it on top of the car?" And when it reappears, "I catch it mom!" with her hands outreached towards the sky. She grabs a fistful of air and tucks her fist back into her chest. "I have it!"


And lastly, here is the story of the night we sat around a fire. It starts with a friend from afar being in town, and a bunch of ladies wanting to spend time with her. We scurried into the house she was staying at, with cocktails, wine and snacks in hand. An impromptu fire was made in the backyard and we went out to it (moths to a flame! Do we all know the Janet Jackson song? Is it playing in our heads?). We spent the rest of the night sitting around a beautiful fire, draining our cups, discussing things like babies, art, and what a good day looks like - all while staring into the flames.  The flames, the wine, and the presence of friends, warmed up everything. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Sloane baked a cake!

I read this book, "Bringing Up Bebe", when I was pregnant and there is a section in the book where it talks about baking a cake with your little one when they are young, the whole idea being they are involved in the process of making something, can assert their ability, and can pride themselves in the result. The cake is a yogurt cake that is very simple and is something that even a toddler can do. (The context within the book is that French children bake every weekend - they'll bake a cake in the morning and have it with their afternoon tea). The cake is actually is pretty good; it's dense and moist, I like the addition of the raspberries (you could add any kind of frozen fruit or even chocolate), and we slathered it with creme fraiche when we ate it. 

Sloane is still pretty young to bake a cake entirely by herself (she is 2 yrs and 2 months old), but she is so interested in 'helping' me cook in the kitchen (she helped me make salmon cakes one time with great success) and insists that she do things on her own (after I turn on the sink faucet for her, she tells me to go outside and closes the bathroom door so that she can wash her hands by herself...), that I felt like she was up for the task...and she LOVED it.

I helped her measure out the cups and then she poured each thing into the bowls and did the mixing. It brought me so much joy seeing how much she enjoyed this. The recipe is at the very bottom of this post, if you're interested!

 "I did it!!"

She was verrrryy interested in watching over her cake baking in the oven. I eventually had to distract her with something else because she kept asking if it was ready, every minute.

She was so proud!! Later on that night, when we were eating the cake with some friends, I leaned over and whispered, "Who made this cake we are all eating?" She grinned up at me and clasped at her chest, "Sloane!" 

Yogurt Cake with Raspberries (adapted slightly from Raising Bebe) - 

You will need:

  • 2 (6oz) containers of french vanilla yogurt (keep containers for measuring the other ingredients)(I didn't have vanilla extract so I justified using French vanilla yogurt, but next time I will probably go with plain yogurt)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 containers sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 of a container of vegetable oil
  • 4 containers flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 container of frozen raspberries 
  • Crème fraîche 


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F
  2. Coat a 9″ round cake pan with cooking spray or oil.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the yogurt, eggs, sugar, vanilla, and oil.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour and baking powder.
  5. Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, stir until just combined. Add the raspberries.
  6. Pour it all into your baking pan, bake for 35 minutes or until golden and when a toothpick inserted is pulled out clean. Let it cool on a rack.
  7. Serve with Crème fraîche.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Mama bear, aka, Simone (and daughter of dear friend Martha), turned a whopping three years old and we celebrated in proper form - in the woods, searching for acorns and pine cones, making bird seed feeders and sifting for jewels. It all culminated in a glorious moment having to do with a giant purple salmon cake. It brought me so much joy to see these tiny figures sitting around a tiny table eating their snacks, doing their activities and running around together. Sloane had such a great time and was excited to tell her papa aaaalll about it when we got home. 

yarrrrrrrrr!! it's my birthday!

the biggest pinecone in all the land

eden, popcorn monger and expert depositor of said popcorn

'what? she won't mind sharing..' 

purple salmon cake eaters!

sharing secrets

and some shots of the birthday girl, soaking in the rays and the delights of the day:

looking for bears!

group photo!

group plus the babes! kind of.

peace out fellow bears and woodland animals!

Monday, September 22, 2014


After this weekend, I feel sore (a fun partner workout), quenched ( a couple of delicious coctkails), fuzzy (from holding a tiny, lovely baby!), satisfied (finished a photo shoot for a project), grateful (for friends) and a little bereft (from missing Sloane after a weekend together).

I don't know if there was a moment this weekend when I was sitting still (except for to watch 'Lords of Dogtown'; which was surprisingly fun to watch), but this jam packed life seems to be how my 31 year old self wants it ...for now. And somehow, even though life is rumbling on at incredible speed and I am forever planning things and writing to-do lists, all of this grabbing life by the reigns or whatever the saying is, is allowing me to be in the NOW. Here I am!! I seem to be always saying to my own self. 

I have a handful of photos to share from the weekend and I'll do so along with some mental notes I took, observations, or truth nuggets, if you will...

^ Pancakes should be crisp on the outside and fluffy on the inside and chewy in the mouth. Moore Street Cafe gets it.

Lamplighter coffee has these sweet potato chai muffins with cream cheese that are scrumptious. I'm scheming ways to go back and get some more ASAP

^ Guranteed, the more beautiful the day it is, the more traffic there will be in Carytown. And also a mime will most likely make an appearance.

^ A store (Franklin Goose) that has a miniature wooden kitchen set for Sloane to play with, a changing table upstairs and lovely non-toxic items for sale is always on my MUST-visit list of places to go when I'm traipsing around the town. 

^ Coffee and bourbon is a combination that I wish I had discovered sooner in life.

^ Even when I don't feel like working out, I never regret it afterwards. Never!

^ It is such a joy to see Sloane act like a caretaker to a tiny babe. Be still my heart... I have high suspicion that she will make a stupendous older sister. 

^ Sloane got upset twice this past weekend, and both times had something to do with ice cream.  Lessons learned for all of us.

^ I love when our church talks community. 

^ I have it in my head that we should get a fire pit, even though, as Ken points out, we will probably not be able to use it as much as I fantasize we will.

^ I think my wanting a fire pit is just one of those signs that is indicating that I'm ok with enjoying where I am in the moment, in the house that we are in right now, inviting friends over and making our own dang s'mores. 

Over and out!