November 22, 2010
Can. Not. Believe. That it’s Thanksgiving this week. Oh my. I figured I could at least get it together for a short week of posts. But I’m a little overwhelmed by the prospect of December already. Let’s not think about that at the moment, kay?
Jillian, one of my 100LC partners, is having a baby in the next few weeks. Yay! Another baby! (There can never be too many babies, if you ask me.)
(Aren’t her belly pics by Jenny Ebert great?)
She’s an event designer and prop stylist and her hubs Scott is a photographer. Good combo for a cute nursery photo shoot, yes? They live in Brooklyn, and don’t have a ton of space. So Jillian turned her closet into the baby nook in their bedroom. Yes, she gave up her closet for the babe. Motherhood starts way before the baby arrives, in so many ways.
Look how cute it turned out!
So excited to see who comes out of her belly! I love it when people keep the gender a surprise!!
November 16, 2010
All of a sudden I have all sorts of work + the impending launch of 100LC. I know you don’t believe me at this point since we’ve been talking about launching our new site for months, but it really is getting closer. And I’m really focused on that and these other projects at the moment. Which means if I was to attempt posting every day, the posts wouldn’t be particularly inspired. Can you give me a few days to get things in order? When the holiday projects start, I promise I’ll have lots of pretty things to post.
For now, how about a slightly out of focus picture of my baby?
I kind of like it anyway. The light has been so beautiful in the evenings. I shall return when I have a moment.
November 11, 2010
Today was one of those days where the moment I opened the internet, I knew it was going to be a bad day for mindless clicking and cyber window shopping. Like within minutes I had 24 windows open. Eek. Christmas is coming people and since it’s baby’s first, we must make it extra special, mustn’t we?
Like, need to get my amaryllis bulbs forced. Normally I do narcissus but this year I decided to go big and red.
(this special variety available at Terrain)
Also at Terrain, a really sweet chalkboard jam jar!?! For storing homemade jam in the fridge and labeling it appropriately. LOVE.
POSH Chicago has their vintage and vintage-inspired holiday decor up and ready for purchasing. Like these red cordial glasses (EXCELLENT GIFT IDEA!) and coil icicle ornaments.
Perhaps I need a festive triangley locket?
(Spotted on Celia’s blog.)
And maybe Dashiell needs some new, high fashion apparel? From Stella M, maybe? It is awfully cold in our house in the winter.
Or perhaps a notebook paper tee? One for baby, one for mama.
And those boots I’ve been doing without for like 3 winters? I’m not sure I can make it through another season without them. And because every pair I’ve seen and liked is $500, these Madewells are looking right perfect at the moment.
(Spotted on Suann’s blog.)
AND I have to make/find the perfect stocking for Dashiell! This is a big deal, people. My whole family has handmade stockings that were given to us for our first Christmas. The pressure! Time to visit Purl for some inspiration.
There. Now I can go on about my day.
November 10, 2010
I think like everyone I have a strong love-hate relationship with IKEA. Sometimes it’s genius and sometimes it makes me want to stick needles in my eyes, rather than finish building whatever it is that’s spread in splinters all over my living room floor. I’ve taken to avoiding complicated furniture and that truly does make a difference.
For instance, earlier this week Dashiell and I took a trip down to the nearest store for a high chair. Child is 8.5 months old and is still eating in his Baby Bjorn bouncy chair. Oops. We found an excellent high chair with a huge tray, that’s super solid and as a bonus, red. Yay.
But we also found all sorts of good Christmas decors:
The cutest tall, skinny cocktail glasses. A set of tins for wrapping things like cookies and breads and other baked goods. ($7.99 for all three, btw). And some simple straw ornaments. (I love Scandinavian holiday decor. All things Scandinavian, really. But especially their patterns, and straw things, and furniture, and glassware and textiles.) I highly recommend checking out their seasonal items. They also have a really great straw wreath, similar to the one I bought last year from Roost. And cute patterned paper bags for wrapping.
Such a typical IKEA trip. Go in for ONE thing, leave with a car full of assorted items, feeling sort of dazed and high from the sheer number of inexpensive modern products and swedish meatball aromas.
November 9, 2010
We can’t really go out to dinner much these days, but we’ve taken to showing up at restaurants at the stroke of 5 pm for a drink and quick bite before we have to head home for baby bedtime. The hilarious part is that we’re not alone! Who knew?? An entire dining culture centered around babies and kids!! And the bonus, you don’t need a reservation. Even at trendy new spots.
My mom was in town for the night on Saturday and we packed up Dashiell and his dinner and headed over to the brand new, ultra shiny A-Frame, that just opened on Thursday a few blocks from our house. (Side note: our neighborhood is suddenly becoming much cooler. Hooray!)
(Kabocha squash and Rapini tempura. yummmm.)
The food brains of Kogi are behind this yummy new restaurant that feels like part ski chalet, part modern farmhouse loft, part hipster bar, part 60′s IHOP.
It’s quite an excellent combo. The drinks are delicious, the food is yum and served on those tin enamel-coated dishes that you associate with camping in the 70s.
I do love a restaurant that puts so much effort into their cocktails.
And feeding the baby while we’re out it always good distraction. Messy, but a good distraction.
The only problem: they only have one high chair. UMMMM, not going to cut it for the young family dining crowd.
November 8, 2010
Sunday we had my parents in town and I whipped up a most delicious roasted root veg hash for breakfast. I encourage you to do the same, perhaps this coming weekend. I don’t have a recipe, nor do I feel like coming up with one so I will just give you the basics.
We had the roasted veg for dinner the night before (potatoes, butternut, celery root, etc) and they were staring at me from the fridge when I opened it to ponder breakfast. I sauteed some onions and fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, sage) in a mixture of butter and olive oil, plus salt and pepper. Dumped in the vegetables and stirred them around, added some diced jalapeĂ±os and a bit of water to re-plump the slightly dry veg mixture.
Topped it with poached eggs and feta cheese. And served it with arugula salad tossed with lemon and olive oil. It seriously hit the spot. And reminded me that I NEED to make Rachel’s apple sage cardamom pancakes, like soon.
Siiigh. Officially enamored with fall. Again.
(Note: When I make this again I think I’ll add maybe turnips and golden beets to the veg mix. Twill be delicious.)
November 5, 2010
The new Anthro catalog showed up in the mailbox and while I normally don’t read them (same same same same), I happened to flip through it yesterday morning. And they’ve gone with a super cute vintage toy theme. So now I love their catalogs again!
It’s so f-ing hot here I can’t even imagine planning for Christmas already, though while I was up north I definitely caught the fall/holiday bug. Even though it was warm there too. Something about the bay area always gets me excited for big winter dinners and the planning of festive events.
Happy weekend! We’re going to rearrange the house. Yay.
November 4, 2010
I may not have ever expressed how much I love Berkeley. I am deeply in love with it, in many many fairytale like ways. And I’ve never lived there. Just long to. And every fall, before during and after our yearly trip to the Bay, I bring up my favorite topic: when/how will we move to Berkeley. I am a broken record for 3 months of the year. Poor husband. He went to school there and likes it well enough, and isn’t opposed to living there even. It’s just never really worked out.
So you can imagine my joy at being able to spend just 48 glorious hours basking in it’s sunlight and flavors and smells and people. Especially since I didn’t expect to make the trip this year. Though I did think about coming home pretty much every minute. Babies do that to you.
Lunch at Chez Panisse, coffee at the original Peets, Cheeseboard (x 2), Andronicos, Monterrey Market, Gregoire. And it wasn’t nearly enough. I wanted to pack my entire suitcase full of food and abandon my clothes at Becca’s. Instead I crammed as many Cheeseboard rolls and pastries into my purse as humanly possible and called it good enough. Even though everyone knows the Cheeseboard is only really good when it’s fresh.
But the real reason I was there was to meet this little man and help his auntie (my bestie) take care of him and his mama (and her family) for a few short days.
Master Emry. He’s soooo tiny. It’s inexplicable how in 8 months I could have forgotten how tiny new babies are, and how foreign that part of parenthood feels now. But it was awfully sweet holding the little guy. He just sleeps and coos and sleeps. Which is quite lovely and seems so easy. What was all the fuss about!!
But then look who was waiting for me when I got home yesterday:
I think he got older while I was away. Definitely cuter. Probably older.
So happy to have been in one of my favorite places. So happy to be back in our little nest.
November 3, 2010
I had a few requests for the quinoa recipe I concocted last week and bragged about on twitter. It is quite quite delicious. Especially if you’re a coconut fan. I’ve been soooooooo into coconut as of late. It started in pregnancy for sure, when the only thing I ever wanted for dinner was Thai coconut soup. But it’s extended/been reinvigorated while making baby food, as I’ve decided coconut is the perfect addition to most things. And since it’s so delicious, all I have left to photograph from my second batch are the scraps, but you get the idea.
This recipe is so simple. Really it doesn’t need a recipe as much as a list of ingredients, but in case you’re unfamiliar with quinoa itself, here’s the step by step.
Coconut quinoa with lemongrass and lime
2 cups quinoa (I’m showing a mix of white and black, but I really prefer all white)
1 can coconut milk
2 cups of water (or enough to bring the volume up to 4 cups of liquid
4 kaffir lime leaves (see note that follows)
one stalk of lemongrass, cut into a few chunks
4 or 5 coins of fresh ginger
juice of one lime
Bring coconut milk, water, lime leaves, lemongrass, ginger, and a pinch of salt to a boil. Simmer for a few minutes so the flavors have a chance to blend a bit. Add quinoa and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the grains pop open and the liquid is mostly absorbed.
Dump quinoa into a colander and let it cool over the sink.
If you’re in a rush you can always skip the cooling, but I find that heat and citrus are not always a good match. Once the quinoa is cool, mix in lime juice and salt to taste. That’s it! Easy breezy.
Optional additions include loads of chopped fresh cilantro (highly recommended), peas, lightly cooked cubes of tofu, maybe some toasted cashews, etc.
Notes on ingredients:
The lime leaves really truly are the essence of this dish. I buy mine at the farmer’s market from one particular farm, but they’re available on ebay and Amazon (of all places!). You can buy a bunch and store them in a jar in the freezer for long long periods of time. They’re delicious in stir frys too.
And if you’re into Thai/asian cooking, consider planting a lemongrass plant! It will grow like a weed and you’ll always have some on hand. Alternately, you can buy a bunch from the store or the farmer’s market and freeze it like you would the lime leaves.
November 2, 2010
Mad preparations for a few days away. Make food for baby, food for Brock. Wash diapers, pack clothes, kiss baby an additional 6 million times.
The farmer’s market by our house had a cute Dia de los Muertos altar set up. It’s such a lovely, festive tradition.
We had breakfast at The Curious Palate. Which was quite delicious. They marinate their own artichoke hearts, people. And they are so good. My veggie omelet was one of the best I’ve had: roasted tomatoes, spinach, said artichoke hearts, sundried olives, gruyere. Yum.
I made two more sets of bean bags. One for a baby who just arrived, and one for a baby who will be here next month.
And, because I had nothing else to do before I left town (HAAAA), I decided on Sunday that I HAD to paint the hallway and hang the mirror that’s been leaning against the wall for the last 6-7 years. It was becoming a major problem with the crawling baby. He loves to kiss himself in the mirror.