Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What's Making Me Happy This Week

// New apps:
Togethera: a private Instagram/Facebook like interface. I have a feed for the spear and the distaff sides of the family.
Wunderlist: a handy way to make and share to-do lists. Instead of incessant text messages, I can make incessant updates to the Honey-do list Luke and I share.
College Nannies and Tutors: now our sitter service operates through an app. I look at the date in question, see which sitters are available, and request through the app. The sitter accepts and voila look who's going out on a date night.

// Josh Ritter's All Songs Considered interview and new single (listen here) - featuring a great rhyme with 'Missouri'.

image via

// I've talked about how much I enjoy Orlando Soria's blog Hommemaker. What I haven't talked about is how I've actually considered writing him to say - I love your blog, I think you're hilarious, please come to my house and fix it. Fix it!

His recent post One Bathroom Four Ways is muy inspiring. Plants in the bathroom. Needs to happen.

The pink bathroom is such tranquil perfection and the linked CB2 towels such the perfect shade of pink I clicked on over and think I need those towels, stat. Or maybe I should start with decreasing the turnaround time between each step: towels in dryer -> clean towels in basket -> folded towels -> folded towels actually put away. Maybe start there, self? Maybe start there before I buy new towels to skip the last two steps and use directly from basket?! I'm not a grown-up.

// Another re-blog from my favorite Go Fug Yourself. Heather's commentary on Amy Schumer's unfunny, unsexy GQ cover is exactly what I'd want to say if I'd given it any thought and could write like she does. Brava, Heather!  Jessica's captions in a slideshow for Prince George's second birthday are hysterical. Love you, Fug Girls!

// I usually flip right through Southern Living's house features because their style is not my style. This Best New Home spread stopped me in my tracks --- so gorgeous!!! I actually spent time studying each photo then ripped out the feature and put in my 'inspiration - home' file.

// When you don't wear business clothes, business clothes become very fascinating (the grass is never as green as when your side is camouflage). Some interesting things going on in comfort shoe wear that I wanted to alert you to, Friends Who Wear Real Clothes:

Top left: These Clarks conjure up the following word associations: dame, gams, hey mister, gal Friday.

Top right: just like 'em. You know how I feel about closed toe clogs.

Bottom panel: These Clarks are weird and spacey and orthotic. I find something edgy about them however...


... as if they are the budget-conscious yet sartorially adventurous weird-yet-well-heeled cousin of these Alexander Wang boots ($595) and Loeffler Randall pumps ($350)

// And other ridiculous fashion news, I've been thinking about how many times I would have to wear my $785 star cape to make the cost-per-wear worth it. I SAY ONE TIME THIS IS THE MOST FABULOUS THING I'VE EVER SEEN.

Monday, July 27, 2015

An Inconvenient Tooth

The weekend in photos, mostly so I can share this tippy-toed spying on Daddy's van tire repair.

Brunch at Central Market: fried chicken with candied jalapenos over pancakes with a light drizzle of syrup, dotted with Sriracha. This is the perfect meal, Luke said.

Give me a pancake with no Sriracha noooooooooow!
Josie was clingy all weekend due to a new little lower tooth poking through. Insisted on being carried the entire time; hates the carrier. As C would say, MY TIRED.

Other C-isms from the weekend:

Luke spread a blanket over her crib and she exclaimed, "It's a house. A house in my cwib!" Later that night I woke her up to change her diaper and she sleepily muttered "I go back to my house."

Perusing the canned iced coffee selections at Target, I errantly put a can back on a mostly empty shelf. "NO GO DARE, NO GO DARE, NO GO DARE," she said with increasing agitation and volume. Oh! I said, and put it back in its place. "IT GO DARE," C said, satisfied.

Tiny tyrant corollary: At school her classroom is beyond a painted red line that all children must stop at before proceeding with an adult's permission. Her class, led by her teachers, walked back to the classroom from the gym... the class minus Clementine, who stopped at the red line. She would not budge until everyone, teachers included, returned to the red line, PAUSED, and then and only then continued to the classroom.

Back to brunch:

Your husbands are cute but mine is the CUTEST.


Checking to make sure the fork is night night.

Later I laid down beside this massive pile of laundry to read for a few moments while the girls napped. (The title might give you a sense of the battles going on around here: The Soul of Discipline: The Simplicity Parenting Approach to Warm, Firm, and Calm Guidance) But then Josie woke up and it was another day of backsliding, inconsistent parameters, and empty threats. #serenitynow

And look who made her appearance! My sister's baby Ava Belle! Hello sweet baby! She wore a Kickee Pants onesie home that my sister-in-law sent me. Reduce, recycle, renewborn.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

What's Making Me Happy This Week

// Excited to see Tangerine after hearing the director's and star's Fresh Air interview (listen here). It was shot with an iPhone!

// Isn't it funny how personal style changes? Until about 2008 I wondered, who would buy ankle boots? What do they go with?! Then I embraced the bootie, the shootie, the mid-calf boot and haven't purchased a tall boot in ages. Same thing with mules. Always disliked mules. But then I saw this Matt Bernson early fall release and thought, I NEED THOSE MULES! I really like the covered toe (ingrained from years of hospital work where bare toes are verboten). The right panel is an image from Real Simple typifying the mixed-print magic I aspire to. With mules!

// Date night at the ramen pop-up with a visiting chef at The Granary.

// Snack du jour: Popcorn. My new fave is Lesser Evil Buddha Bowl Himalayan Pink Popcorn. It has pink Himalayan salt which is completely different from the regular old en ay cee ell that plebeians eat.

// Pulling into the Central Market parking lot - expressly to purchase this popcorn and some food for the kids as an afterthought - we asked C, where are we? Eat bwefast? she replied. Because YES that is where we go to eat breakfast at least one weekend day. I felt both proud and chagrined.

// Nordstrom price match. I found the perfect oxford (not easy to find a menswear-inspired shoe that doesn't look like straight-up menswear in size 10 or 11, my friends) deeply discounted on the manufacturer's website and full price on But guess what - Nordie's price matches as along as that very size/style/color is available. I saved over $80 plus free shipping and free returns! #gottaspendmoneytosavemoney #that'snothowitworksJulie #yesitisLuke


Weekend recap. On Saturday Luke departed for Dallas and we girls went to La Cantera. When the cat's away the mice will shop the Anniversary Sale, as the saying goes. When the boxes are ripped open and the final decisions made I'll share my picks. (Spoiler alert: booties!)

Lunch at the Bistro. Josie is almost a pro at straws -- a bit earlier we all shared a mocha banana ice storm with almond milk. (Almond milk makes it, like, 30 calories total).

Offering Beary White some bread.

"Would you take a picture so I can show my husband how easy it is to be out with the kids?" Part I.

When your lunch companion...

...covers you in 'butterfy dickers'.

Here I tried on a bunch of wireless bras because I have a permanent bruise on my sternum from an ill-fitting, pokey underwire.  My 2015 word may be QUALITY but subcategories include SOFT, STRETCHY, and ELASTIC.

Hanna Andersson haul.

I ordered the top and leggings at the top left to the store for free shipping. Then the salesgirls pulled a bunch of coordinating items so that everything goes together. The striped tee is so soft ('So soff,' as C would say) I wish it came in mom-size. The teal dress and knee socks are each reversible.This is the sort of highly coordinated, capsule future wardrobe I envision for myself but with cashmere sweaters and silk pajama pants. So soff.

Home again: Rain boots, swim cap, loading of cart with shoes.

NIGHT NIGHT SHOES! C has started draping her napkin over her asparagus - night night beans! - and sheets of stickers - night night dickers!

Sunday morning we applied our YIPDICK (Armani sheer 400) and went to Central Market for a croissant and weighing of our excursion options.

Sassy girls and their croissant.

It was 9:15 and overcast and only 80 degrees so far so I decided we would check out the zoo for the very first time. I WANNA NOOK AT THE ANIMALS!

"Would you take a picture so I can show my husband how easy it is to be out with the kids?" Part II.
C was wearing polka dot ankle tights and she commented on my new ridiculous pants: MOMMY AND CATTYTINE COKE-A DOT PANTS TOO! [Polka dots are either coke-a dots or potah dots.]

Custom hip bag - so awesome - is from Allyson of Sennit and Sauvage.

 Zoo times.

Flamingos are funny.

What's that? AN ALLIGATOR! C replied.

Josie was near dozing the entire time but pulled it together for a photo:

When Luke returned from Dallas we went to the new exhibits at the McNay, a collage exhibit and Leslie Dill: Performance As Art. Most of the pieces were costumes from dance/spoken word pieces featuring the poetry of Emily Dickinson.

IT'S A BUTTERFY - Clementine.

The Cove for dinner. I wanna pway on the pwayground!

I suppose I gravitate to the same places in SATX because I dig their genius loci: The Cove, Barbaro, the Pearl complex, oh yes Central Market. This place is full of good vibes and great food. We shared the sweet potato hash (note to self: replicate at home), bean and cheese nachos, and sweet potato custard. I did NOT share the fish taco with the spicy crema because I love it so much.

Grocery store for weekly staples (bananas). Our household is powered by Chiquita. I love Josie's expressions here.

BUILDING A MYSTERY:  Luke pointed to a display of fruit and asked C what they were. MAYN-OHS she said. No, he replied, they're pears or something... [reading the sign]... they're mangoes?!!
We have no idea how she knows that.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Places To Go

Facebook clickbait: How many states have you visited?

This was my result:

Have not visited: Mississippi, Arkansas, Nebraska, Vermont, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Alaska. Not 100% sure about North Dakota.

I've been dayscheming with destinations to fill out this map.

TRAIN TRIP. I love train travel (and the idea of train travel). I've never been on an overnight train trip. Enter Amtrak's Empire Builder: Chicago - Milwaukee - St. Paul/Minneapolis - Spokane - Portland/Seattle. This itinerary checks off Wisconsin and Oregon.

It's a 46 hour trip OR a hop-on, hop-off multiday adventure, like the 10 day Glacier National Park Discovery. Or this, a 16 day journey from Seattle to NYC. I see myself looking out the window while Simon and Garfunkel's "Homeward Bound" plays in the background.

Actually I'd like to see all of our Chicago folks, visit Molly and John in Minneapolis (please make The Beans, Molly), spend a few days in Glacier roughing it here, hit up of our Seattle friends, and then travel to Portland. (And then drive from Portland to LA; return to SA via the Sunset Limited - portion of which we rode to Marfa (Marfa I and Marfa II). I'm starting a Kickstarter for my vacations if you'd like to contribute.

And then I found this: Great National Parks. Little too much 'motorcoach' in this one.


Anyway, I am so eager to take this kind of trip... a road trip with no driving. Ideal!

BREAD SCHOOL I'd love to attend the King Arthur Baking School in Norwich, Vermont. A four day course + Vermont sight-seeing. If this sounds fun to you, call me! We'll go.

NEBRASKA AND MISSISSIPPI Alright, I don't have particular destinations in mind here. Nothing that Southern Living, Garden & Gun, and Becky couldn't fix.

ARKANSAS A visit to Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, the awfully named but awfully beautiful contemporary art museum in Bentonville.

ALASKA What about an Empire Builder journey PLUS Alaska cruise?


Other must-sees I'm thinking about right now: White Sands, New Mexico; New York City for Broadway shows; Phoenix (my sister and I have elaborate plans to stay at the Phoenician), Luke hasn't been to Boston (hey wait, Vermont by way of Boston is perfect); Mackinac Island; Big Sur. Those are the stateside ones. Next up: the world!

Kung Fu Noodle

Kung Fu Noodle on Tuesday (special bun day) after I read about it in San Antonio magazine. You say special bun and I say when. 

The restaurant is tiny and full of native Chinese speakers. Very promising. Downside - it's 12 miles from our house, which is about 9 miles farther than I like to drive, and is located in a strip mall that would be nondescript except for the other colorful tenants - a hydroponics store, a shuttered establishment of questionable repute named Tulips Spa, and something called the Success in Life Center. 

The menu has about ten items total in three categories: fist-sized buns (plain or spiced pork), noodles (glass or handmade), dumplings (pork and chive, pork and mushroom). And that's it.

And a peeled hard boiled egg steeped in five spice. 

The noodles - pliable and stretchy - came in a large bowl filled with broth, thinly sliced meat, baby bok choy, and scallions. 'It's grass, Daddy, it's grass,' C said, removing each piece of wilted scallion carefully from a bite of noodles and placing on her natkin [napkin]. 

Josie ate many bites of steamed bun and soup.

And Clem kung fu'd those noodles right back.