Monday, June 26, 2017

Anniversary Weekend

// With Luke at a gig on Friday night, the girls and I went to Amanda's to meet her kittens! The girls were thrilled.

// A Saturday afternoon visit to Novel Neighbor in Webster Groves. Luke bought Homo Deus, I ordered my latest library check-out cookbook and bought some books for the girls and for gifts.

// I was really proud of the girls' dinner on Saturday: steak, cherry tomatoes, corn on the cob ("Pwain. I don't like butter or doz spwinkles [salt]." - Clementine), farm share blueberries (Josie), a hard-boiled egg minus the yolk (Josie), half of an avocado sprinkled with Maldon salt (again, Josie).

// Sunday: 6th anniversary plus a baby shower for a good friend! On the way home from the shower I bought ingredients for tamarind chicken thighs (I had ordered the tamarind already) at Lucky's Market. Set up the marinade mise en place for Clementine (fish sauce, soy sauce, tamarind concentrate, honey, red pepper flakes, toasted sesame oil):

Voila! Sprinkled with raw jalapeƱo (SO hot) and sprigs of cilantro.

(We also made brownies).

Jenny came over for dinner plus whole fruit margaritas. I used the rest of the lime I had zested for the marinade and felt like a Real Cook for a second.

While we visited I made the rest of our food for the week: pork tenderloin with an ancho-cocoa rub, green beans, bacon and eggs, blistered sweet peppers.

// When I was away at the shower Luke cleaned the entire house and folded and put away (!) all the laundry. I made him spicy food. We speak each other's love languages.

Anniversaries: 2012 - 2013 - 2014 - 2015 - 2016 / 2016 (anniversary trip to Montreal)

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Midweek on the Midway

Three Fun Things on a Thursday Night.

Dinner at Qdoda.

Swim lesson.

First visit to a fair!

I forgot how much I hate the Ferris Wheel -- I basically white-knuckled it with Luke intoning from the car behind us: It's been 444 days since our last fatality... 

The joy on their faces...

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

To Summer-ize

Photos of a very summery weekend.

Friday night: girl gang hangs featuring Houlihan's stuffed mushrooms and light margaritas. Cheers y'all!

Ice cream "wif spwinkles".


A visit to the circus.

When Josie stole the bratwurst.

"Why was she hitting the horse with fishing poles?" C asked about the horse trainer.

More ice cream, at Clementine's.

Took the long way home through South St Louis, picked up sandwiches at Mom's Deli, went to work to catch up for Monday.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

What's Making Me Happy This Week

I came home from working on Saturday to the following:

// Luke prepared my favorite things to greet me: a can of Diet Coke; Lucinda Williams spinning on the turntable; bacon-wrapped, cream cheese-stuffed jalapeƱos hot on a baking sheet and C met me at the door with:

Repeating something she must have heard Luke say: "Did you get stuck at work?" [anxiously, likely referencing the times she's been stuck] "Was the door locked?"

// Once again, Instacart Costco delivery is THE BEST. We needed stuff, my day was crazy, so was Luke's... spent two minutes at my desk ordering the things we needed and voila, delivered.

// Watching new episodes of House of Cards. Eek. Tense!

// Bought the all-brass version of this wall hanging which looks exactly like these Madewell earrings that I considered buying but hesitated because they look heavy. This wall hanging is part of Bedroom Get All the Shit Out of It Makeover and it starts with this $9.98 piece of decor. (Still have not thrown out a single magazine.)

// Wearing this perfume oil from Florence.

// This new video from The Secret Sisters, perfect for Father's Day. Dads rock!

Friday, June 9, 2017

What's Making Me Happy This Week

// In looking for surf suits for the girls, I came across these leggings/swim tights which I will be purchasing posthaste in the avocado print. The girls recently caught sight of the outdoor pool and Josie said I wanna put on my simmin suit, I wanna go simming. The indoor pool is great but even I will acquiesce to time outside (in our swim tights). I think these avocado leggings + bra top + white rash guard + large hat will be my summer 2017 look! #BackThatHassUp

// Going to read this House of Cards recap before Luke and I start season 5!

// Getting into a rhythm of gym time after work - seems sustainable. It is much easier to pack a gym bag than a clothes/makeup/shoes-for-work bag.

// It just occurred to me to take the girls to the circus this weekend - we haven't talked about it or read any books about a circus ... I think they will be amazed. It is so fun to delight them. If we have dinner at C's most requested spot - Qdoba - it will be the Best Night Ever.

// This Tata Harper mask was in my last Birchbox and I really like it (but probably not $58 like it). I almost never get facials but I had one with all Tata Harper products in San Antonio and it almost made a believer out of me.

// Learned about sea power in the modern age on On Point. Why oh why can't we have an articulate statesman, academician, soldier as president?!

// I never make salads at home because 1) too many ingredients 2) too much prep and 3) no leftovers but after hearing this interview I'm looking forward to perusing this new cookbook and book of photography. The STL public library didn't have the book so I emailed them and they purchased it! 

// Speaking of salad I've been eating my farm share tomatoes with fresh mozzarella (I MISS YOU, CENTRAL MARKET, AND YOUR MADE-IN-STORE MOZZ) and basil from the porch with healthy pinches of salt and pepper, healthy glugs of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I could eat that meal every day, happily.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Summer Goals

A check-in with my 2017 resolutions and a list of of what I want to accomplish this summer:

How have I done with December's plans? The good:

// I've been great about working out with Courtney because I love working out with Courtney!

// I took swimming lessons! Five of them. Decided swimming simply wasn't enjoyable enough to pursue with my little free time. And I don't like the chlorine, the wet hair afterwards ... obstacles.

// I purchased a monthly massage membership this month, finally. Really thought this resolution would have been a breeze.

// I have been pretty good about cooking; so much depends on how much Luke and I are each around on a given week. I've happened upon a meal that the girls love: prepared meatballs with Kirkland marinara. I shake a half-bag of frozen meatballs into slow cooker and pour over a jar of marinara. Heat. Serve. I wish it were homemade but I'm thrilled they're eating protein, the sauce has no added sugar, and that the components are always in the pantry and freezer means I'm rarely caught without dinner options. I round out their meals with berries, mango, green beans, guacamole/avocado (Josie), and, recently, hard-boiled eggs (again, for Josie - she's the more adventurous eater though she doesn't like the yolk - "no yike the goat [the yolk]".)

// We have hosted brunches with friends and playdates and that's been great. I've extended invitations to makers in the community I want to get to know but no dinners have materialized.

// Amanda and I were on a roll with our Monthly Cultural Event but Life Interceded. I hope to resume these soon! Next up: floating.

// I've read six books this year, my stated goal being one per month, but my real goal is 25 books this year - 2 a month plus an extra. Sounds so manageable! Both ahead and behind here. Bogged down in the second book of the Margaret Atwood's MaddAddam trilogy and I'm giving up! Moving on to Jim Harrison's memoir A Really Big Lunch - I can already tell I'm going to love it.

In the haven't category:

// Haven't lost 20 pounds. Boo. In fact, I've gained weight! Double boo! 

// Haven't been doing the Shoot Along photography course. Have been saving the emails.

// Was doing great scheduling my hair appointments in advance but here I am again, in need of color/cut/straightening, going to have to wait weeks because Luke is out of town and then I'm on call. 

From here:

// Body: find ways to get to the gym more regularly. I started a 14 week strength training program in February that I had to suspend because of work, travel, child care, the usual. The first half is 4 days a week of lifting and the second five days week. I'm two weeks in again but it will definitely take more than 14 weeks to complete. I have a relatively travel-free summer and completion of the Bigness Project is my fitness goal. I've set a goal of at least 10 minutes of yoga every day in the month of June - so far, so good. The Yoga Studio app changed its billing structure on June 4th but I think it's worth $20 a year.

// Mind: catch up to my two books a month goal. Keep up with the journals that arrive weekly - skim and download the pdfs I want as references.

// Spirit: dedicate time with each girl solo and with Luke. They are such wonderful ages and I want to make the most of this summer - impromptu picnics, splash pad visits, saying yes instead of saying no [I have to leave/ask Daddy/let's talk about it...] With Luke I want to attend at least one concert in the park (Shakespeare? Jazz? Any of them), watch House of Cards together, perhaps see ANY of our photos from Italy last month.

// Home: I am such a cluttery person and it drives me nuts - my own clutter. I want to get a handle on at least our bedroom in order to justify the purchase of 1-2 pieces of furniture. I have had this dresser and armoire picked out for at least three years. The only furniture purchase we've made during our six year marriage is our bed - everything else is a hand-me-down, made by my dad (cool, huh?), or less than $100 from a resale shop. First step: pare down. Second step: Figure out which pieces will fit. Third step: Go for it!

// For the girls: Get them to the pool at least twice a week to swim. Planning to couple this with my workouts - 30 minutes of lifting, then swim.

// Creativity: Begin the project - a blog about workwear - I've been talking about for so long!

What are your plans?

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Trying to Magic

Which of all my important nothings shall I tell you first?
Jane Austen

Saturday: massage at 8 am (I should always start out this way!); workout with Courtney; home to pick up these turkeys -->

for lunch at Nordstrom (why there? Because the girls know what to expect, I know what to expect, and it's fun) and off to the carousel. The kind salespeople at the Jo Malone counter put bows in the girls' hair and lip gloss on Josie, who sat PERFECTLY STILL for its application and upon inspecting herself in the mirror said, "I yike dis yip-dick. So spark-a-wee."

That night I mistakenly offered a ice cream incentive and when I remembered we'd had a cookie earlier in the day and revoked the ice cream idea, C had a meltdown and came up with a rather elegant solution:

C: When I go poo poo, that poo poo will be the cookie and then I can have ice cream!

Me: That's not how it works...

C: (30 minutes later, gesturing to "the evidence") See, that's the cookie! Now I can have ice cream! (Hysterics continue).

Morning conversations:

Gym. Wanted poolside lunch but the concession stand didn't open until 11:30. C requested grilled cheese so it was off to Sugarfire for all the pickles Josie could eat and next door for that ice cream, where I tried to get a cute picture...

Dropped Luke off for his gig in Clayton (ultimately cancelled for rain) and we headed to the Butterfly House (became members) and the carousel (became members).

Left with these treats: bubbles and a magic wand...

I wanted to buy organic fruit for the week but not knowing whether Whole Foods has double carts (doubting it and opting for Known Environments Always), we went to Target for food and sundries for the new car (Kleenex, wipes, cheapie sunglasses, sunscreen, etc). Facing each other in the leviathan double cart, they giggled and laughed and only swiftly kicked each other for brief bursts and Clementine told Josie all about her new favorite word/phenomenon: DIARRHEA. ("It's when your poo poo is big.")

Luke's gig was cancelled and he and the guys were home early. I made meals for the week (pork tenderloin, roasted green beans and Brussels sprouts, cranberry sauce) and the girls ate 1/3 of the steak skewers I'd planned to have for dinner this week. Sometimes they love steak.

Laundry. Handmaid's Tale. The Packing of the Many Bags. And we were off again.