Update: links fixed!
I can’t take it anymore! I need Spring here immediately. This cold is insane. We’re all getting major cabin fever and I’m running out of activities to do with a toddler. If it was just a little cold I would layer up and head outside, but -20 wind chills. Come on. I finally caved and went to the playgroup at the library, and like clockwork Oskar got sick. If you are in this brutal weather, buy some flowers, crank your heat up, paint your toenails and listen to some summer jams. If you live in beautiful weather, please email me rentals and job listings.
Sight: Give me all the baskets.
Smell: Tips on how to shop a flower market… if you are lucky enough to have one nearby.
Sound: Our first weekend away from Oskar is planned (yay! wah!) – a trip to Chicago to see Father John Misty. The last album, Fear Fun, is still played quite often around here, and very nostalgic since I listened to it during the best part of my labor. I haven’t listened to the new one, I Love You Honeybear, as much yet. I’m sure it will be on repeat soon enough.
Taste: This ginger-mint pear smoothie is so good. Seeing how easy it was to whip this up and how much Oskar likes something packed full of spinach I might have to look into stepping up my smoothie game.
Touch: The perfect slip dress. You could wear year round, every day. Under an oversized sweater, with a light jacket, over a t-shirt.
We took off the other week for a nice long weekend in San Antonio. Nick’s mom rents a carriage house every year in the beautiful king williams neighborhood and invited us to visit this year. It was so great to get out of this blistering cold for a bit. We experienced our first flight with a toddler on our laps. And I don’t mean to brag, but we nailed it. That kid was a dream on the flight there and on the way back it was looking a little dicey but then he fell asleep for almost the entire flight.
Once in Texas the weather wasn’t as warm as expected, but it a couple days later it was mid 70s and sunny. We spent a lot of time wandering around the riverwalk downtown and in the neighborhoods near our place. But when it comes to travel there’s only one thing I really focus on, food (and drinks). Here are some tasty stand outs from our trip…
Bakery Lorraine – My mother in law had a box of macaroons waiting for me upon arrival, because she is smart, and they were amazing – so of course I had to go back for more. Bakery Lorraine is located in the Pearl area. So we went down early Saturday morning for the farmer’s market. I had to restrain myself from ordering every baked good in sight and settled on a croissant and a homemade poptart. Yes I’m serious. It was one of the best things I’ve ever had… ever. I was skeptical because sometimes homemade versions of food like that can taste too healthy, you know, like the organic offbrand version. But they nailed it. If they made a brown sugar cinnamon version I would be on the next flight out.
Local Coffee – in the same area right across from the bakery is this coffee shop. They made a mean cortado and nick’s normally over complicated decaf iced concoction was perfect without needing to provide instruction. Plus they were not pretentious like so many baristas these days.
The Friendly Spot – if we lived in San Antonio this is where we would be when we weren’t sleeping. It’s all outdoors – a large gravel lot with perfectly rusted patio furniture, huge selection of beer, good simple snack & meal options, a fenced in playground for kids, a movie screen for when the Spurs are playing, and is dog friendly. It’s pretty much the best thing ever and had us looking at real estate to start our own version. Seriously, drinking outdoors with a family/pet friendly aspect (but not annoyingly so), is the BEST.
Feast – Hip and modern decor, good cocktails, good small plates. Not the greatest spot for a toddler, but they were pretty accommodating. We went for dinner, although I heard the had a great brunch. Great place for a small group of friends to share a meal.
The Esquire – In our short time in San Antonio we were close to becoming regulars here. Although we never had dinner here, we did split a dessert (the date loaf) one night and it was amazing. The cocktails were all amazing. And between the two of us we had a lot of them. Vacation + babysitter = lots of drinks. Great atmosphere and staff. We really enjoyed sitting out on the balcony and people watching. Plus its the oldest bar on the riverwalk, so there is your history lesson. You’re welcome.
Bella on the River – For our official date night nick picked this restaurant. Initially I wasn’t optimistic because there were some major reservation issues and they weren’t handling it very well. But after I got over that, thanks to a heavily poured glass of chianti, we enjoyed a really great meal. Very classic Italian, nothing over the top, just fresh ingredients cooked well. Nick splurged and ordered a steak with foie gras, again – vacation, and I opted for one of the specials which was a lemony langoustine dish.
The Monterey – We went here for brunch. It reminded me of home. A really cool patio space with random furniture and decor, music blaring, and laid back staff that didn’t seem to mind a kid wandering around. I had a simple egg, bacon, biscuit meal. The egg was cooked well (egg snob here), bacon was crisp, biscuit was huge and so delicious, plus it came with honey butter and jam. Most importantly, the Bloody Mary was perfect.
photograph: The Alamo – our only visit was on accident at night. But were told there is an exhibit across from the alamo narrated by Phil Collins, yes that Phil Collins.
“A clear house makes for a clear mind…and a clear mind makes for a peaceful, positive mommy. ” Jessica de Ruiter’s home is gorgeous and her statement rings so true. This has been such a long process for me. I know it is the answer, but getting there has been tough. The amount of nonsense we own is overwhelming and it’s hard to find a place to start. Since moving over two years ago there are boxes that haven’t been touched sense. Do you go through them in case of lost gems or just blindly discard?
See and read more about Jessica’s home at The Hive.
Wow, where did the time go. Months 14-17 have been amazing. The change is so quick it’s hard to keep up. One minute I am so proud of you for holding a spoon and eating some oatmeal on your own, the next you are feeding yourself 100% of the time and I’m not allowed to help.
Oskar, you are loving, sweet, challenging, curious, fearless, funny and so f*ing cute.
Your smile is genuine and heart melting. There is a crazy smile, and a sneaky smirk, but your happy smile, your sweet happy babe smile is a sight to be seen. I hope we continue to see it often.
This age seems like a series of inside jokes. There are so many little things only you, me and your dad are in on. Counting to three before jumping on the bed, making all the noises in Sherlock Holmes, showing how clean your teeth are after brushing. Sure, we had things before now, but they were about you and shared between your dad and I. Now you are in on the jokes.
It’s such a hard change to explain. It feels like these are the first big steps from being a baby to being Oskar, a person. You are becoming more independent everyday. I know some moms talk about this time with sadness, but to me it’s so exciting. I love who you are becoming and truly enjoy spending time with you.
Sight: Oskar’s current favorite book is Where The Wild Things Are, or as he calls it, “my roars.”
Sound: Oskar got a keyboard for Christmas and it is a hit. He’ll dance for days when those preset tunes come on.
Taste: Croissants are still the favorite food of all time. But now he also loves olives, bananas, peas, yogurt, and cheese on pears.
Touch: Oskar likes picking out his clothes. Most the time I give him an option of two things and let him pick one. But if he catches a glimpse of his onsie with cars, planes, & trucks, then it’s over, that must go on. And he almost always brings out a leg warmer to wear. Not two, just one. It’s become his signature look.
Happy Friday! This weekend is project exercise. I am going to look into classes, memberships, apps, videos… all of it, in search for a winner. As a former ballerina (meaning I took some classes for a minute 2 decades ago), I am drawn to dance based things – so maybe a barre class or Ballet Beautiful. Yoga was amazing during my pregnancy and would probably be helpful with repairing my separated abdomen (for real). The YMCA offers free childcare with a family membership, BONUS. And pilates has always seemed like something that I might enjoy. But it is time to get these lazy winter bones moving.
Sight: Are you guys watching The Bachelor? We haven’t missed a season… ever. But the dude this round is pretty boring.
Smell: Two perfume samples (this and this) arrived the other day and I’ve been rotating them, along with some samples from Lurk. Sometimes a little dab of a lovely scent can totally change the way you feel about yourself.
Sound: This is terribly exciting. February 13th, two girlfriends and I will be seeing SWV, Bel Biv Devoe, and Tony! Toni! Toné! in concert. Yes, I am serious!!! Also, if you are ready to get your weekend started, you better follow those links. You’re welcome.
Taste: Can not wait to make this chowder. Yum!
Touch: We are in desperate need of sheets, only owning one crappy set is no bueno. I love these and they are on sale, but I feel like I’m always disappointed by sheets and would rather hunt out the best, crispiest, cool, long lasting kind.
I wish I could say that the past few months were a welcomed break. That I spent my time away from this space frolicking in fields with my family and getting awesome shit done. But the reality is, I don’t know what happened. Work got crazy, my baby turned into an energetic boy, and next thing I know I’m one of those “busy” people. Like that is somehow an acceptable answer when someone asks you how you are. It’s not. The thing is, we all get busy, we take on too much and then complain about it, when it’s mostly in our control. I have the added problem of incorrectly prioritizing when things start to inevitably fall by the wayside. Last year around this time I set goals for 2014. While some of the goals were met, the putting myself first was most definitely not. As a mother, I’m sure this is going to be a goal every year for the rest of my life, but let’s give it another shot for 2015. How do you find time for yourself amidst the chaos of life?
photograph: The Billings (from the awesome family shoot we had done back in October, I’ll post more from that soon!)
During the last season of Mind of a Chef I feel in love with Sean Brock. Like a let’s be best friends and drink beer and cook kinda love. He is down to earth, an amazing chef, and mindful about each ingredient and where it comes from – without being pretentious. He recently released his first cookbook, Heritage. It features a mix of recipes from comfort food to high end restaurant along with background of how the dish came to be. I can’t wait to order up some Anson Mills and bring a taste of the South to the Midwest. What could be better than a warm bowl of grits on a cold winter morning?
A good cardigan is mandatory. Most women’s cardigans are too thin and short and small. They act more as an “i hate my arms” cover-up than the warm cozy layer they are supposed to be. So I look in the men’s department… or good stores that know what’s up (hello, everlane). I usually default to the thrift store for sweaters, cardigans and flannels. But this season I think I might spring for a new one. This white cardigan probably isn’t an option with a toddler… but man is it good. Thankfully it also comes in grey and navy. Couple other options…
This one is a little late. Which makes sense, because at 13 months you turned into a wild child. You are on the move constantly. And not just crawling and cruising anymore, these days you are taking steps. Sometimes just a few off the couch heading for the dog and other times you run between your papa and I, flinging your body into our arms and laughing. There is a lot of laughing. You discovered how to make us laugh. It’s usually by doing something strange. Like holding your toe like a hook as I try to put your sock on. We laugh and you get a little smirk and do it again, this can go on for a while.
Along with all the laughing there have been more tears. You want to do so much all the time, and aren’t very happy with me when I suggest we do something different. Like when I suggest instead of crawling through the cat door into the disgusting laundry room with litter boxes, we play with your toys or read a book, you don’t always think that’s a good idea and express your aversion by laying on the ground and pounding your fists and feet… and sometimes your head. You are pretty dramatic, but it’s short lived. My passionate little buddy.
The flipside of those dramatics is your usual laid-back nature. You are such a joy to be around and a pretty chill bud. I love being able to take you anywhere and not worry. Sometimes you and I go out to lunch just the two of us and it always seems to take people by surprise. But I really enjoy this time with you, sharing a meal and people watching.
Sight: Oskar loves Yo Gabba Gabba. I know, he is probably too young for tv, but whatever. The kid dances his face off when it comes on and it’s wacky, tolerable, and has musical guests I’m familiar with.
Smell: We are trying these wipes. I like the insanely minimal ingredients, but they don’t come out of the package very easily.
Sound: His musical instruments are by far his favorite toys. He has been really loving the drum set he got for his birthday. And according to Nick he has perfect technique… great, I can live with two drummers!
Taste: I love these spinach cakes. They are so convenient and perfect for him to eat on his own. Plus they are packed full of spinach. I want to try to make these muffins too. Any tips on sugar replacements?
Touch: Any tips on how to keep socks and shoes on? He whips them off the second he’s put in the carseat. So far converse have worked well, but they take a while to put on… and I’m already missing one. I was thinking about getting some tights for winter to layer under leggings or pants.