Wednesday, December 30, 2015

What's Making Me Happy This Week

// Cream-Nut peanut butter. I learned about this in New York magazine's Food Issue and then saw it at Central Market. It went cart --> spoon --> face. This really is the best peanut butter (so peanutty) and it's nothing but peanuts + salt. No sugar, no palm oil, no other stuff. I found Mother-In-Law's kimchi that was featured on the same list but we've yet to dig into it, because frankly, I'm sort of scared of kimchi. Also kombucha.

image via

// Using up a tube of Armani Luminessence CC cream. I rarely finish any cosmetic so it feels good to squeeze the last drop of something, particularly something expensive.

// R+Co shampoo, conditioner, and dry shampoo. It smells fancy.

// Josie saying HI. HI. HI! HI! HI! I am encouraged by her increased vocalizations.

// The prospect of another holiday weekend with family! Have a wonderful New Year's, everyone!

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Christmas Weekend


Josie had an off-and-on low grade fever so she spent a lot of time like this. Or walking around making sad little whiny noises.

A four day weekend at home with Luke and the girls is a rare treat. (Another one is coming up, but my in-laws will be in town). We finished Transparent - I loved this season. Did anyone else feel very inspired by Gaby Hoffman's eye makeup? I spent a lot of time in the kitchen which was grand - I listened to my favorite podcasts (Serial, Good Food, Pop Culture Happy Hour), the book I'm enjoying so much (Big Magic), and prepared so much food -- sirloin, slow cooker buffalo chicken, roasted veggies, chili, cowboy caviar, jalapeno poppers with no-sugar-added bacon, frittatas.

Christmas morning breakfast was cinnamon rolls a la tube (Immaculate Baking - have you tried them? Delish). Here they are opening two new books, Sleepy Time and Baby Animals by Gyo Fujikawa. My sister-in-law sent Babies, another book by this author and favorite of her kids, when Josie was born and both girls love this book. 

I gave Luke beard grooming products and Bear Paws (how manly!) and he gave me anti-fatigue mats for the kitchen. Which means I stand on anti-fatigue mats at home and at work! If only I could get them for my psyche.

Very pleased with a baby of her own.

A walk on the new trail nearby.

This park is full of air plants.

Probably the only photo I'll ever have in which everyone is looking at the camera and smiling - and I'm wearing a disguise.

Realizing Josie isn't smiling...

Grabs her face.

This was an all-day pj kind of day. Checking out the new Yanaguana playground downtown.

Last weekend her goody bag included a jingle bell on a cord which she immediately dubbed her "step-o-scope", a device she's learned about from Daniel Tiger. Here she's listening to baby's heart as part of "baby's check-up. I'm a dot-ter, like Dot-ter Anna." She's recently learned that I work at the "hahst-eh-bull".

Dinner at Thai Dee. The girls really ran us ragged this day and as Josie banged a fork on the table and Clem squealed over a block that fell to the floor, I lowered my head to my hands and said to Luke, this Christmas is kicking my ass.


Waving hi to Daddy from a girls' lunch at "Cenner Margawet". Lunch, procurement of milk, bananas, meat.

this is the only place they drink juice, I promise.

With the girls looking wide awake at 7 pm, we took them to Inflatable Wonderland. Every photo of C is a blur but she would like you to know that she's wearing her cat dress and her cat socks.

On the little ride together. C is holding on to Josie, so sweet.

What should I do with Josie's hair?! Trim her bangs? Grow it out and barrette it back?

Josie and her baby.

On Sunday night I wanted to watch Spy. Josie wailed plaintively from her crib for a bit and when we retrieved her, she crawled into my lap and focused on the screen as if we'd been waiting for her to start the movie.

That didn't last for long. She played, she wanted to be held, she wanted down. Here Luke tries to plant the seed of an idea with Sleepy Time.

Hope you are enjoying a wonderful holiday season, friends!

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

What's Making Me Happy This Week

Pre-Christmas edition!

// Texting with my sisters about gift logistics (who's buying what? who's reimbursing who?) aided by Gif Keyboard. I actually LOL'ed.

// Clem was dressed like this when I returned from the gym this morning. She's watching The Nutcracker.

// This meme.
and next week!

// Giggles.

 // More Jingle Bells.

// The daycare's closed and I'm working. Here's me checking in with Luke who's home with the girls:

// I've already mentioned Big Magic but it's really making me happy this week.

// Finally started Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. Seeing Carrie Brownstein in Transparent reminded me to unearth my library copy from the nightstand. She's a great writer! I don't know why I'm surprised by this.

// All of the holiday cards we've received - I love seeing all of your faces!

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Week Before Christmas

Really really really wonderful to have Luke home for a stretch while the band takes a holiday break.

Our weekend according to my phone.

This is my tracker for the workout below -- I finished it in 37:39. The workout is named after my Iron class-mate Nellie who's completely changed her body in 18 months and is hella strong and keeps me accountable for our 5 am classes! (When I know I can't make it, I check in with Nellie to log my excused absence).


We've embarked on a low carb (Luke)/lower carb (moi) lifestyle change after Luke read a book I heard about in Better Than Before. (He e-mailed the author a question and received a reply within hours, fun huh?). I spent a lot of time in the kitchen this weekend, which I love. I made our favorite sausage and squash sheet pan meal - C picks out all the cherries and sausage bits to eat. I used sage from my driveway garden. Call me Alice Waters.

Swinging at Landa.


Name That Tune! The last song is "God Our Father" (aka God of Party) or here, God of Food or the Food Song -- they must sing it before lunch at school.

On Saturday night we went to Target because I wanted to pick up their Christmas presents -- a baby doll of her own for Josie (to diffuse the Solomonic fights over Big Baby - a mom can dream) and Magna-Tiles for C because her teacher reports they are her favorite toy. Luke took C in one cart and I had Josie in another. Then I remembered that Luke and I have very different Target shopping styles -- he finds what he needs and checks out and doesn't understand why I need to cruise the aisles and just see what's new and spend some time in gel pen deliberation. Don't harsh my Target mellow, bro!

Christmas lights at University of the Incarnate Word. "Beautiful yights! The yights are twink-a-wing!"

After the girls were asleep we watched several episodes of Transparent. Jeffrey Tambor is a national treasure.

Sunday. We walked to the new little farmers' market in our neighborhood. Luke and Clem have been talking about traffic lights and she points out all the signals and their colors when she spots them. On the way to the farmers' market she said, "Look, Daddy! It's gween!" and I responded, "I see it!" and she pointedly replied, "No, DADDY, it's gween." (Also from the Exclusive Club of Two file from this weekend: in the car I played a video of Luke and Clem singing and C said, "That sounds like you and me, Daddy. NOT Mommy. NOT Josie."

In addition to slow cooker pork and the squash dish, I made slow cooker chicken tikka masala from Budget Bytes and these chewy sugar cookies for the Crawfords' Christmas party. The chicken is great and a definite make-again and the cookies are delicious. I used boneless skinless thighs to skip the deboning step and will add more chicken next time- there's a lot of sauce.

Jingle Bells.

Christmas party! Judy made these garnishes for the champagne-cranberry juice punch - rosemary antlers, clove eyes, and a cranberry nose! Pinterest FTW!

Meeting Santa. I didn't get a photo of Josie because she flung herself away like Santa was a burning building.

Running around in the backyard.

"I saw the big kids in here.. how do I..."

"Let's get ready for the party!" I told Clem and she exclaimed "I put on my beautiful dress with the tutu!" and flew into her room to change. "What shoes do you want to wear?" "My Keens." Glamour and practicality.

Scooting down the incline because she fell the first time.

With the rest of the kids on a Christmas lights viewing expedition, Josie soaked up some attention. We had a great time - thank you, Crawfords, for including us!

Happy holidays, everybody! My plans for this three day workweek (yay!) and long weekend include roasting a beef tenderloin, bookmarking recipes in Paleo Perfected/Sheet Pan Suppers/One Pot, finishing Barbarian Days, getting to work on my 2016 planner, and mourning carbohydrates.