Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Breast Dance Party Ever

I have hardly any photos of Jenny's epic Breast Dance Party Ever, her brainchild that raised $18,000 for Gateway to Hope, a local organization that provides aid (of several kinds) to breast cancer patients. That's a shame but the party was incredible!!!!

I took the day off to help with the party but spent the morning at work (it's very difficult to finish cases in a day) and went to Studio Branca to get my hair done.

The venue:

The Flavor Savers performed, everybody danced, and Jenny and Tanya did an awesome job as the event chairs.

So many people that I know and love were there -- it was fantastic and so fun. Like a wedding minus all the tiresome parts of a wedding.

Meanwhile, the girls were with my parents. They are holding hands! 💔


Spa treatments.

The friend-party marched on: I saw Mary Noel the next day, then Mike and Eric from Chicago. Luke went out with the Flavor Savers that night so I had the strange sensation of being alone in my house at night.

The next morning Amy, Jerome, and Paige - visiting all the way from LA - came over for brunch.

My mom meeting Paige.

Jenny put Susanne -- visiting all the way from San Diego - on a train back to California, but not before we made plans for a poolside girls' weekend in SoCal.

These girls came over for Breakfast for Dinner before the train. Happy to report this buttermilk powder works and makes buttermilk pancakes a pantry-staple recipe.

If this post sounds sedate it's because it is -- shortly after this my friend's husband succumbed to a rare blood disorder within two months of diagnosis. It's a loss so vast and profound and unfair and sudden it defies fathoming. Please consider a donation, here, at a GoFundMe account created for their family.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

What's Making Me Happy This Week

// Tom Lenk's red carpet re-creations with household materials make me laugh - so does this NYT profile. His Blake Lively is hilarious. And he played the piano-playing butler in the season 3 finale of Transparent - what a scene that is.

// Taffy Brodesser-Akner's celebrity profiles in GQ. So good I need to get a subscription. Enjoyed these interviews with Toms Hiddleston (still have not seen him in anything, ever) and Ford.

// Speaking of Tom Ford, I am loving the Plum Japonais perfume I bought myself for Christmas. Who was that enchantress who just glided by on a cloud? I think to myself. OH IT WAS ME. It smells fabulous.

// I've been thinking a lot about this polka dot sweater. ("Julie, you mean the adult-size child's sweater that's $300?" That's the one!) Why does this polka dot sweater appeal to me so much? After some introspection and the moment when I described my preferred color palette when it comes to my clothes as "like a bruise... black, brown, maroon, mustard yellow..." I realize I want some FUN in my clothes! Whimsy! Brightness! Quirky! Going to start working on this. BUT: it's much easier to stick to a dour, somber, bruise scheme. QUIRK TAKES WORK, especially for work, because it can so easily look juvenile.

// As always, these two:

One person is sick, one person is tired, one person is neither.

 Guess who!

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Chick Time

I was really looking forward to some downtime this weekend. Josie had an intermittent fever that had her feeling mopey one minute and restored to full-speed antics 15 minutes after a dose of Tylenol.

Looking like a sweet little angel baby:


On Saturday C and I went to the gym and Target for Valentine's supplies for their classes. I spent a ridiculous amount on new additions to the the accessories basket but they were so delighted it was worth it (echoing the sentiment of every parent at Disney World).

Luke covered a shoebox with wrapping paper and stickers for Josie's valentines; I addressed Clem's valentines (painstakingly; my handwriting is atrocious and devolving). Records played while we worked at the dining room table: Margo Price's Midwest Farmer's Daughter and Supertramp's Breakfast in America.

I drank a lot of iced coffee with cream that day, played with the girls, wrote a blog post, laughed with Luke, and stayed up too late watching Loving and Saturday Night Live.

Sunday: Lady Date #2: To Kill A Mockingbird at the Repertory Theatre. I thought the production, the acting, the singing of the Greek chorus-like "Community" - were astounding. Showing now through March 5 -- go, go, go, St Louisans!

Afterwards, I met Amanda's baby chicks!

She tells me they will be highly productive layers. Eggcellent.

I am fascinated by backyard chicken keeping and can't wait to watch Amanda tend her flock - and I'm so proud of her for doing something she's always wanted to do.

Buy some chicks! Talk to strangers! Do Zumba! What comfort zone stretching activity are you up to these days?

One on One

I'm trying to carve out little bits of time with each girl. Last week we had two mini-dates:

A cookie at Panera after the gym.

Dinner at Nordstrom Bistro and a promise of picking out new bath bombs at Lush. I should have re-considered when she declared I DIDN'T NAP at school but off we went. She found a new unicorn and a stick of gummy candies in the kid department and ate about half of my steak frites... the steak part. "I don't like fries." Weirdo. (The herb-sprinkled fries with kalamata aioli at Nordstrom Bistro is one of my top ten favorite foods).

We walked to Lush and selected new bath bombs (I bought and used this one -- smells wonderful) No surprise that C chose the unicorn horn. Things got a little rocky when she darted away from me in Nordstrom and did not heed my pleas exhortations threats instructions to return to my side. We have to work on listening.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Happy Fourth

Celebrating Clementine's fourth birthday. When I asked her which color cupcakes she wanted for her class she answered "gray" but I ordered pink and purple. I picked them up from Olivier, the very tiny, very punk Frenchman who works at the bakery nearby. He's 50ish and has a half-shaved head and a braided mid-chest beard. He's definitely the coolest person in the St Louis burbs.

One of Clementine's favorite books right now is A Letter to Amy which features a birthday party scene. I asked if she wanted a similar cake to the one in the book but she indicated she wanted "a headband, like Amy."

I bought these on Amazon.

The birthday girl and the chocolate cake she selected ... and didn't like.

Gifts: a Rapunzel dress + Pascal figurine (she loves Tangled right now), puzzles, a wand/crown/bracelet set for each girl.

My mom stayed with the girls while we saw Dawes at the Pageant that night. (Other Dawes concerts: Utopiafest - Austin when we missed them! - Austin when we met one of them!)

My favorite Dawes song.

On Thursday morning we set out for Luke's hometown in Michigan. Learning from my unprepared drive to Chicago, I asked my mom to bring over some stickers, coloring books, etc for our trip. (I thought I would have more time to shop for the trip, but when does anyone find themselves with too much time? I spent most of my first vacation day at work finishing up cases.) The drive went quickly and uneventfully. We listened to the Sleeping Beauty soundtrack.

Playing at Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Tucking the doll into bed. This held her interest for so long I'm thinking of buying her this adorable Hape dollhouse - but ugh we have so much stuff already.

We visited with Luke's family and I checked off several of my to-do's: booked our lodging in Florence, bought some stuff online (go me), and watched Arrival. Luke thought it was so-so but I loved it - visually arresting, philosophically provocative, emotionally devastating. The behind-the-scenes discussion was great too. (I'm hoping to watch a couple more Oscar-nominated movies this weekend).

The trip was rather challenging in that the girls ran all over the place (Josie: "MY HIDING!"), didn't sleep, and Josie found a contraband pencil during (no)naptime. This is a wall, not a piece of paper:


Sliding between floors.

After being alternately grouchy and clingy all day, the no-napper fell asleep during the party.

Some of the winter babies:

Pizza on the drive home.

Funny faces.

Burning off energy when we returned home. I made food for the week and watched the Gaga halftime show.

Kitchen Swim from Julie Hinkle on Vimeo.

Hard to believe she's four. Sometimes I scroll through my Instagram feed, back to when she was a baby, just to make myself happy-sad (there's probably a German word for it).