Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Let's Get Away From It All

Dear Readers,

I hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend!  I know we did.  Muffin spent the weekend with his grandparents on the coast living it up.  We had a "Mommy and Daddy" weekend in Mammoth, CA for a mountain-top wedding of two of our great friends.  I was really looking forward to the time to just be a couple for a few days, celebrating our friends and later our own sixth wedding anniversary.

It was busy, busy all-day Friday and Saturday with the drive, rehearsal, dinner, wedding prep and wedding (MOH duties, I think, were executed to their fullest!).  What a beautiful place with wonderful people.  The wedding was fabulous, but I was really looking forward to a bit of relaxing, reconnecting time with Sweetie.  I was thinking we should have made some special anniversary plans for us on Sunday, but with everything being so busy neither of us had a chance.

Then on Sunday, having no plans, we just took our time.  We checked out late, did a little shopping, got a late lunch, took the long and scenic way, checked out anything we wanted to, stopped for a leisurely sushi dinner up at Tahoe and eventually wound our way home by 9pm.  Mind you, Mammoth is only three hours away so we really took our time.  And it was the greatest.  Because there was no place to be, no schedule, no hurry...just the two of us doing exactly what we wanted in the moment and relaxing.  Should we turn up here and check this out?  Why yes.  Why not?

It was in these moments of throwing caution to the wind and taking the long route that I realized since Muffin had arrived we have always been on a schedule.  Don't get me wrong- it's a happy, loving, baby world but we have a pattern to every day: morning, noon and night.  Sleeping, eating, playing...it's all on a fairly predictable and set time-table.  Being "off" a schedule of any sort for just a day was brilliant.  And I highly recommend it.

So, in the future when we take a weekend just for us, I will make sure to make no plans and no reservations.  Just a full tank of gas, my Sweetie and the open road makes the "ultimate" weekend away.

Happy trails!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Baby Bling

Dear Readers,

Every once in a while I look at those "mother's necklaces" and think I want one.  The only problem is I never find one I actually want.  Tags with initials and birthstones...it's cute, but it's not me.

And then, along came these Maya Brenner Asymmetrical Mini Letter necklaces and a new lust was born.  Dainty, gold and fab: yes, please!  $220 is a lot for something like this, but someday as a gift I'd really love one.  Maybe when/if we have Baby II (hint, hint, Sweetie....).  This has Baby Bling written all over it!

OK, now back to thinking of Father's Day gifts....

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

One Pan Magic

Dear Readers,

Ever have one of those nights when you want to just tell everyone to eat cereal for dinner?  Well, that was me last night, but my husband suggested we do veggie burgers and sweet potato fries instead.  Ok, not too much more effort than cereal I suppose, especially if you are very clever and only use one baking pan to make all of your food.  Even better, with minimal effort you can make it a little more gourmet than you might imagine.


Slice 1/2 of a white onion and toss with a little olive oil and salt.

Place frozen sweet potato fries, veggie patties (any kind, but we love the Dr. Prager's California Burgers and Morningstar's new Chickpea burgers) and sliced white onions all on a single baking sheet (or two if you're cooking for many).

Sprinkle a little seasoning on the fries (I love Tony's!) and toss it all in the oven at 400 degrees.  After 10 minutes flip the burgers, fries and onions, put it all back in the oven for another 7-10 minutes (watch for burning) and voila!   Place burgers on lettuce or buns (up to you), top with avocado, lettuce, tomato and whatever condiments you love (me: Tribe's 40 Spices hummus; Sweetie: Wildwood's Vegan Garlic Aioli).

The best part is that everything is ready at once, no fuss, no extra cooking dishes, and who doesn't love yummy veggie burgers with sauteed onions and hot seasoned fries?

Bon Appetite!

Friday, May 10, 2013


Dear Readers,

Recently, in our household, we have been somewhat consumed by a terrible case my husband is prosecuting that involves abuse and the death of a child.  There are not words for how terrible and upsetting this case has been felt, in particular because we have our beautiful little Muffin Man.  It has opened my eyes to a lot of pain and suffering I never knew about with such specificity and within very close proximity.

It's a challenge for me to reconcile the wonderful life we have with the terrible circumstances of so many.  My husband has said that I need to stop trying to understand the "why" because there is no logic to explain these things, and I believe he's right.  But still, I needed something.

Then today I was speaking with a co-worker about this who used to be a pediatric ER nurse.  She has seen her fair share of child abuse victims and as a result changed professions entirely.  She offered me a wonderful nugget of hope that I will carry with me for the rest of my life:

Human beings by nature have a tremendous capacity to heal and forgive.

While it isn't an explanation or a fix, it gives me hope -  as a mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend and fellow human.  It's not the good or the bad, but the bridge between, that I will pin my hopes on.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bon Appetit

Dear Readers,

This weekend, in my absence (see: Napa bachelorette party), my child apparently wasn't hungry.  This is not typical.  So I grilled my husband: What did you feed him?  How hard did you try?  Did you try different things?  Did you dance and sing, because sometimes he likes dinner and a show.

OK, so the last thing is true but wasn't an actual out-loud suggestion.  But I was worried.  And then I read about the new book French Kids Eat Everything and thought "how very American of me."  Check it out: in the latest French vs. American parenting book apparently the key to happy petite foodies is to give them what you eat, when you eat, and be done with it.  And use linens and candles.  Hmmm....

Truly, the hardest francophone food rule for me is making dinner "special."  I used to do that, and believe very much in beautiful tables and careful food, but typically now we all eat in the kitchen - me, propped in front of Muffin's high chair and Sweetie perched at our breakfast bar.  We chat and eat, but it's definitely not formal and clearly there are no table cloths.  Otherwise, in general I do give Muffin exactly what we eat and usually he loves it.  Hummus, Mexican food, smoothies, soy sausage - fab.  But sometimes he hates it (salmon), and that is when I pull out packaged baby food and microwave random things in the hopes something will spark his pallet.  And maybe this is wrong.  Or this could be like all the sleep advise out there and really whatever you're up for and have the time and patience for that works for you and your baby is A-OK in food land.

I don't really know just yet, but I'm willing to give these suggestions a try.  I am reminded of my time in France as a student when I saw the French couples with their babies everywhere.  For the first time in my me-obsessed life thought "you can be sexy and a parent?!"  Skinny, beautiful women in fab bateau tops with hot men, making out over a baby carriage put the American images I had of parenting to shame.  No ugly Old Navy capri pants and pastel t-shirts here.  No haggard-looking, chubby parents shoving Cheerios into their children's screaming mouths.  Instead it all looked picture perfect.  Easy.  Hot even.  And this slew of "French is better" parenting books seem to suggest my observations weren't wrong.

So maybe it's worth a try?

Bisous -

Friday, May 3, 2013

Party Time!

Dear Readers,

It's Friday, and I'm off to Napa for a bachelorette in a few short hours!  Party time!  But before I go check this out.  For my next non-wine based party I am TOTALLY making this cake from A Subtle Revelry.  You could fill it with anything.  I don't know why, but I think this is awesome. It makes me happy just looking at it, and I want to do it NOW.  Well, after I get back from Napa.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

To Have And To Hold

Dear Readers,

With the change in weather I have felt the need to change up my iPhone cover but I was having a problem finding exactly what I wanted, especially because I still have an iPhone 4S and not a 5 (I know - First World Problems to the max).  This wasn't an all-consuming shopping obsession, but something I'd been kinda keeping my eye out for.  So much was so....meh.  I really feel like the perfect cover is versatile, personal and seasonal.  And definitely not something everyone has.  And definitely, definitely not "meh."

And then there it was: The Minnie & Emma "French Shirt" personalized cover.  I will admit that nearly every one of their covers made me pause.  So many fun options...only one phone!  But as a huge prepster I adore stripes and my initials on nearly everything and the French Shirt has BOTH plus the fabby script lettering that makes my heart skip a beat.  And I used to live in France and really took to Le Petit Bateau like a fish to water.  So...Sold!  It's a "Catherine Cover!"  At long-last!

Now, for the rest of the Minnie & Emma products - j'adore.  Tres dangereux...

Achats Heureux!