Let Sleeping Babies Lie.

July 31, 2008

I just wanted to say thank you, thank you for all of your emails and comments regarding the sleep issues we've been dealing with in our house. You were not only full of ideas, but also support and encouragement. I was unsure if I really wanted to post about something like that because I like to keep things light and cheery (and maybe just a tad superficial) over here at Domestic Reflections, if you haven't noticed. And so, on that note, I thought we all might like to see a photo of kids at their very, very best (moms, can I get a hell yeah??):



p.s. That was their very first "co-nap"... isn't it sweet??

Pesto: Summer's Most Perfect (and Simple) Meal.

Pesto is so, so easy to make and it never fails to satisfy. Even though I have been eating it just about all my life (mom used to whip up big batches in the summer from all the basil my dad would grow), I still remember the first time I had it at the "source."

Pesto was first made, or so the story goes, in Liguria, that area along the Mediterranean in the uppermost western part of Italy. You know, where the Cinque Terre are? Those five small, idyllic fishing villages that Rick Steves forever put on the map?


(See? The area really is all that. I guess I can't really blame Rick Steves after all. I'm just a little bummed the area is now overflowing with 50-something year old mid-Westerners with Tevas and fanny packs.)

Back to the story: the year was 1995. I had just arrived in Italy for the first time...taking a train from the Côte d'Azur, landing in Santa Margherita Ligure. If you ever go to visit this area, you must stay there. It's not one of the Cinque Terre, but it is about 20 minutes away by train (on one of the most spectacular stretches of railway imaginable). There's more to do there (which still isn't much) and the town is just gorgeous. We got off the train, checked into a little pensione and headed straight down to the waterfront. There, we found a restaurant that had seating out on a little terrace, but also had a few tables out at the end of the dock. On the Mediterranean. We chose to sit there. I asked the waiter to bring out whatever he recommended, he gave me a knowing nod of approval and returned a few minutes later with a plate of lasagna al pesto. It had what seemed like hundreds of layers the lightest lasagne layered with bright green pesto, just a bit of cheese and the tiniest green beans scattered throughout. It was simply divine. One of those food experiences that stays with you forever. So, whenever I eat pesto to this day, I still get transported back to that meal (lucky me). That's why I make pesto very, very often.

I like my pesto with a little more substance than most, so I add a bit more pine nuts and cheese. I don't like it to just taste like basil oil. You can add more or less of any of the ingredients -- just make it the way you like it.

Pesto

About 2 c. lightly packed basil leaves, washed and dried thoroughly

1/2 c. toasted pine nuts

1/2 c. freshly grated Parmiggiano Reggiano

2 garlic cloves

1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil

salt and pepper to taste

Place the basil, pine nuts, cheese and garlic in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the ingredients are incorporated, but not completely smooth. You want some texture. Gradually add the olive oil until the mixture is emulsified. Add salt and pepper to taste. Toss with hot pasta, spread onto pieces of grilled bread, mix into ricotta to use as a dip for veggies, whatever. This stuff is good.

OK Moms, Need Your Help.

July 30, 2008

Here's the question: cry-it-out or no?

Here's my situation: Baby J (8 months) likes to be nursed to sleep. Like all babies, I presume. A little over a month ago, I decided to try the whole cry-it-out thing, going against my gut (Can. Not. Take. The. Crying. People.). But I was determined to try to get her to fall asleep in some other way (i.e. by having someone else put her down -- so I can maybe get a pedicure or something?). Things got a bit better, but she still cries every time. None of this "your baby will cry for 15 minutes three night in a row and then, ta-da, sleep training over for life." Also, when she cries herself to sleep, she will only sleep for about 30 minutes. She didn't always take long naps when I nursed her sleep, but once in awhile she would. I still always nurse her at night before she goes down because I want her belly full, although I realize in a perfect world, I should never nurse her before putting her down.

So, when is she supposed to get with the program? I am ready to give up and go back to nursing her to sleep, just so we don't have to go through the trauma and drama before every nap. Besides, I have been totally ruined by Dr. Sears. I basically subscribe to all of his parenting philosophies, and crying it out is a big no-no. The problem is, Baby J's sleep seems to be getting worse, not better, and I am becoming a very cranky and irritable mom. I need her to nap better, so I can get some things done and so she isn't tired and irritable. So, I guess what I'm saying is I don't have a good alternative to cry-it-out. Then again, what I really don't like about crying it out (besides the obvious) is the "NEVER" aspect of it. NEVER pick up your baby after she's in the crib. NEVER nurse or rock your baby down. NEVER take a nap with your baby. NEVER stray from your carefully mapped out bedtime ritual. If you are a mom, you know exactly what I'm talking about.

Can you see how confused I am?

Please help. B, my family and girlfriends are super, duper sick of me whining about this. I may just tally up your answers and go with the winner. Maybe not, but I just might.

How to Get Your Kid to Eat Something Healthy.

Every mom I know is trying to get their kids to eat healthier foods. Some have more of a challenge than others, and some moms take it to greater lengths. C-Man doesn't eat a ton of different foods, but what he does eat is pretty darn healthful. Problem is, he just won't try very many new things. I decided to recreate a dish that he eats at school for lunch. He (and the other kids) always gobble it right up. I was a little nervous because he can be so unreasonably opposed to eating the very same thing in a different setting. (Like the sample counter at Trader Joe's? He'll try just about anything...buy it and bring it home? He won't have anything to do with it. Argh!!) I am very happy to report that he loved this dish and won't stop eating it! Bonus: Baby J can eat it too.

Here's the recipe:

Lentils and Brown Rice
(from Ms. Katherine at the Waldorf School)

1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 c. red or orange lentils, rinsed
1 can coconut milk
2 c. water
2 1/2 c. brown rice, cooked
Tamari, for serving
Toasted sesame seeds, for serving

In a medium saucepan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil over medium heat for about 3-4 minutes. You just want the onion to soften, not to color. Add the lentils, coconut milk and water and simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes or until lentils are soft. Add salt to taste. Stir in cooked brown rice. Serve with a little tamari and toasted sesame seeds on top.


Retraction.

July 29, 2008

It has come to the editorial board's attention that the following retraction must be made to Monday's piece concerning the "Prison Break." After a full discussion with B concerning said piece, the facts are as follows:

1. Socks were not (repeat: NOT) worn at any point during the incident.

2. B and C-Man did not engage in any "frolicking" in the garden. They are both manly, extremely tough, rugged, all-American men (or at least "male" in the case of the 35-pounder).

Also, before further stories, anecdotes or background information about B are given in this here blog, they shall be passed through B's inbox for review, modification and any editing that he deems necessary.

p.s. He says he would have approved the story for publishing anyway. Thanks, hon! :)

Ten Things.

Ten Things I'm Really Loving Right Now.....

1. Rachel Pally Sundresses. I love the super soft, stretchy material. Sister Molly turned me on to these. Thanks for the new obsession, sis!

2. Iced Green and White Tea with Mint from Trader Joe's. I don't usually like the "green" taste of green tea (does that even make sense?), but this stuff is great. Plus I feel healthy drinking it.

3. This lotion. Since I have my fear of perfume, this is especially nice to put on. The scent is just lovely and people always comment on it.

4. Butterfly chairs. We just bought two for down by the pool. Comfy, stylish and they don't take up a lot of space.

5. Salt and Pepper Pistachios from Costco. I'm not usually a huge snacker, but these are the perfect afternoon (or late night) nosh.

6. Hydrangeas in mason jars.

7. Mad Men. We aren't big TV watchers over here, but someone told us to get the DVDs and watch the episodes marathon-style. First of all, there is the Hotness That is Don Draper . Also, the study of the time period (late '50s, early '60s) and the psychology of advertising is completely compelling. The fact that it is super stylish and provocative doesn't hurt. We can't wait for the munchkins to go to sleep at night so we can get our Mad Men on.

8. Putting C-Man in these pants with a little white tank.

9. Going in the spa with B after the kids go down. (Although we haven't been doing as much of this since we discovered #7.)

10. Going through Soule Mama's archives. She is truly an inspiration. In fact, the idea for this list came from her.

Prison Break.

July 28, 2008

Folks, there was some reeeeaaaalllllll excitement over here at Green Acres yesterday. Elise and I were inside chatting, drinking espresso, talking makeup, you know, the important stuff. Meanwhile, the boys were outside on a little garden "pick around." {We got that phrase from the darling Jamie Oliver....that's what he calls picking veggies from the garden. Now say it out loud with his British accent. Too cute!!} I peeked out of the bedroom window a couple of times to see the two of them out there frolicking around and noticed the chickens were out doing their "free range" thing. {B just started letting them out of the coop on Saturday. Decided we couldn't exactly do the whole chicken thing and not give them as good or better lives as the commercial ones have, right?} Everything looked copacetic so Elise and I went on doing what we do best. About twenty minutes later, the boys came back in, harried and wide-eyed. Apparently, one of the chickens had broken free, crossed the street and gone into the neighbors (fenced) yard. The neighbor with the BIG dog. B had to run through the yard, across the street, scale the fence and chase down the chicken for about 5 long minutes. What really makes this whole scene truly comical is that he was wearing underwear (black Calvin Klein boxer briefs, for those of you who want the full visual....and to those who don't, well, sorry), a T-shirt and black gardening clogs. WITH SOCKS. I would have given my left something to have seen this happening. All with C-Man on the sidelines cheering them on.

We are seriously discussing moving back to Uptown.

Meal Planning Monday.

This week, I am trying to incorporate the following, all of which are overflowing in the garden: zucchini (this is sort of a theme for the summer, I realize), chard (ditto), cippoline onions, Japanese cucumbers, grapefruit and peppers. I'm going to pretend this is my very own C.S.A box (or as my friend Adri calls it, a "farmer box"), and I just need to get resourceful and creative. Also, the lovely Elise is staying with us this week and she is vegetarian, so I need to revisit all of your wonderful suggestions in that regard.

Monday

{Lunch: Stuffed Pita Pockets with Japanese cucumbers and radish}

Alice Waters' Swiss Chard Gratin
Tzatziki and Pita Chips (this is one of Elise's requests)
Grilled chicken sausages

Tuesday

Mexican Food at Tony's Jacal (we didn't make it last night -- we had too much Mexican food this weekend!)

Wednesday

Homemade veggie burgers (I use Columbia Bar's recipe)
Sauteed zucchini and cippoline onions

Thursday

Girls night out -- we are thinking Piatti or Barbarella
Boys will have leftovers and like it and appreciate it and clean up too

Friday

{Dear friend Chris is in town and is -- hopefully -- coming by for breakfast ... I am thinking TJ's Chocolate Croissants, freshly-squeezed grapefruit juice and sausages}

Zucchini Rice Gratin
Spaghetti with Homemade Pesto

Saturday

Unsure -- we may go out again??

Sunday

Leaving for Napa (B surprised me with a last minute trip)

My 2-Minute Makeup.

I almost titled this "Mom Makeup," but I realized that sounds dangerously close to "Mom Jeans." (See also, this.) Anyway, are you like I am? I am such a sucker for any spot in a magazine or on a website called "2 Minute Makeup," "My Desert Island Products," "Makeup Must-Haves" and the like. They are appealing because: a.) I like lists, b.) I am a mom and have no time to get ready in the morning, c.) I really don't know what I'm doing when it comes to makeup, and d.) most makeup makes me look like a cheap French whore. Thankfully, there are lots of those lists out there. Well, here's mine:

1. Most important, I suppose, is the moisturizer and sunscreen. I can't find the product I like by Solaris anywhere online. Sorry, perhaps check with your esthetician. I absolutely love it. It's not sticky at all.




2. This tinted moisturizer is the best for light, natural coverage that I have ever found. And I've tried lots, lots, lots. You can barely feel it on your skin. "Nude" is just about the perfect match for my skin color.



3. Blush: I can't say enough for this product. Everyone looks a little better with some blush on their cheeks. I rotate depending on the season and my mood. Right now I'm obsessed with this little color montage (in pink rose). Looks pretty bright in the package, but it is just the right amount of pink in my opinion.




Another lovely, but in a cream form is this (in Oleander).


4. This is the most critical component in my opinion: Lip Gloss. Seriously, go find a smokin' shade for yourself and it will make your whole day better. I have so many favorite shades and they change all the time. Here are a few I always come back to: Kiehls Lip Balm in Hue 58B, Bobbi Brown Lip Tint (cherry is a great shade, but all of them are nice) and Lancome Juicy Tube in Miracle (the photo is the clear version...Miracle is the prettiest palest pink imaginable). None of these are sticky, and they are all great natural, but beautiful, colors with just the right amount of shine. The Juicy Tube has tiny little diamond-like specks of shimmer (don't worry, NOT glitter). I like to think all three of these just enhance the natural color of my lips, rather than putting a new, fake color on them. (Random FYI: Other known Lip Gloss Junkies in the blog world... Whoorl and Metalia.)

When I have an extra minute or two, I also like to use a nude eyeshadow (like this -- in bone) to even everything out up there (makes you look more awake) and I curl my eyelashes. I'm not a mascara person unless I'm going out at night -- I have yet to find one that really looks natural and doesn't smear by the end of the day and make me look like I had 3 hours of sleep the night before.
Also, when you need it, I highly recommend (again) Laura Mercier for concealer. Her Secret Camouflage is perfect, and lasts forever.
What about you? When you have just 2 minutes, what do you do?

Guess Who's Guest-Blogging?

July 25, 2008

That would be moi.

Cocktail Friday: Lillet Blanc.


I realize this is hardly a cocktail. But it is hands down my favorite pre-dinner drink. It is especially tasty in the summer, but it can work all year round. I am surprised more people don't know about it and more bars don't serve it. Everyone I know who has tried it loves it.

Lillet Blanc, in case you're wondering, is an aperitif wine. It is made from a blend of wine (white bordeaux), liqueurs (mostly orange brandy), herbs and fruits. The brandy is made with sweet oranges from the south of Spain, bitter oranges from Haiti and green oranges from Morocco and Tunisia. It is surprisingly light.

Lillet (pronounced lee-LAY) originated in the French village of Podensac and has been made since the late 1800s. It has the loveliest golden color and flavors of candied orange, honey, pine resin, lime and fresh mint. I almost always serve it well chilled in one of these...with a slice of orange. If you want a little lighter drink, serve it on the rocks with a splash of soda.

When I drink it (which is often), I always feel like I am sitting in a French seaside cafe having a leisurly lunch. Maybe you will too.

By the way, rumor has it that James Bond preferred Lillet to vermouth in his Martinis. Oh, James!

I'm Off to Morocco.

July 24, 2008

Not really. I wish! I have always wanted to go. Not for any good reason, really. Just because there are these images that have been floating around in my subconscious for years....from movies, books, stories of people who have been there, meals I've eaten, who knows really? I need to see it in person. Soon. Well, that may not be very realistic, but until it is I have these photos to comfort me. This is a house tour of a home in Venice, California (you'd never know it!) belonging to a fashion photographer who wanted to bring a little (or a lot) of Marrakesh to his lifestyle. It is one of the coolest home tours I have ever seen. {As an aside, if you ever have, say, 20 hours to kill, check out the home tours on Apartment Therapy. They are the perfect diversion... made up of equal parts voyeurism, eye candy, and inspiration.} Here's an outside shot.

This is "indoor-outdoor flow" at its purest.

Yeah, that's the kitchen, alright.The kitchen again. Isn't it just unbelievable?Detail of a bathroom sink.Hello there, Master Bedroom of My Dreams.

Strawberry Pie.

Are you sick of strawberries yet? We sure aren't. Every time we are at the store or farmer market, C-Man asks for a basket. This recipe is a great way to use those (and other) berries up -- even if they aren't super sweet and red. It comes from a dear friend and extraordinary baker (hi D!):

Strawberry Pie
(originally from D's mother-in-law)

6 c. strawberries (can use 1/2 blackberries)
1 c. sugar
3 T. cornstarch
1/2 c. water
3 oz. cream cheese, whipped (optional)
melted bittersweet chocolate (optional)
Baked pie shell, cooled (can use regular or graham cracker crust -- I prefer regular)

Mash enough berries to make 1 cup (you can also use a blender). In a saucepan, whisk together sugar and cornstarch. Gradually stir in water and crushed berries. Heat over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens. Boil and stir one minute. Cool completely. If using cream cheese, spread along crust. Pour cooked berry mixture and remaining berries (left whole) over crust. Drizzle melted chocolate over the top, if using. Refrigerate at least 3 hours.

Watch out: I have been known to eat a half of one of these pies by myself!

Until I Get My Superpower.

July 23, 2008

Just the other day I was having a fairly random discussion with an old friend: If You Could Have Any Superhero Power, What Would It Be? And I proceeded to come up with an answer very quickly (usually I can never make up my mind about these sorts of things.....) I would FOR SURE love the ability to go back in time and relive past experiences. Not do things better or differently, just relive them for the sake of feeling it all over again. An example might be a favorite childhood camping trip or spending time with a person you have lost (for me, Grandma Grace) or the summer you first fell in love. You get the picture. Wouldn't that be so cool?

Now, I know what you all are thinking: "Where on earth is she going with this? I had that conversation in, like, third grade and then never again." I appreciate your concern. But here's the connection: I found this very intriguing website called "I Hate Perfume," which, surprisingly, sells perfumes. {This should be one of the chapters of my life, by the way. I always want to like perfume, but it never really smells good to me...on me or anyone else for that matter. Except on my 1st grade teacher and on both of my grandmothers.} Anyway, on the site, there is a category of scents called the "Secret History Series.". This is part of the description:

Nothing sparks the memory so powerfully as scent. We know this to be true. One small whiff can tell vividly of a time long gone; perhaps of a moment we thought lost forever yet suddenly, in a flash, we live it again. But these recollections are always a Secret History – no one can truly know them but you. Joseph Conrad was right, “we live as we dream: alone”…The perfumes in this collection all speak of single shining points of time in my own life. But they are a paradox as well – these scents reveal everything about me and at the same time, they can reveal nothing at all. They are like speaking of dreams and so you can only approach them by way of your own experience and make of them what you will. Though we share perfume with those around us when we wear it, still it always tells a very private Secret History. The scents in this collection may tell of mine but when you wear them, they will tell only of yours.

Here are the names of a few of the scents from the Secret History Series: "At the Beach 1966," "Memory of Kindness," "Winter 1966." There are great substantive descriptions of the fragrances as well. And take a look at the apothecary-style packaging:


This just might get me over my fear and loathing of perfume.

Eye Candy.

July 22, 2008

Did anyone else catch the beautiful photo spread in Gourmet's July issue accompanying the "Rollin' on the River" Menu? I was just drooling over the photos, myself. Of course the food looks amazing, but it was the setting and the mood that really got my attention. Apparently, it was shot on location at a boathouse in Upstate New York, along a cool, tranquil river. And that tasty spread atop the overturned canoe? To die for. So casually perfect, if that is possible. Only the photos of the cake (Mascarpone Filled, with Sherried Berries, to be precise) and the Beef Tenderloin are on the website, so you'll just have to pick up an issue if you don't already have it (or sneak a peak in the check-out line....just don't blame me if you get the evil eye from the cashier). Check out the photographer's (Quentin Bacon) website as well. Amazing stuff. I wish I could get him to take some picks of the munchkins.

Exactly What I Was Looking For.

You know when you have your eye out for something, can't find it, forget about it, and then? Poof. There it is. As you know, over here at Green Acres, we have been looking to get rid of all that evil plastic. But C-Man uses things like buckets and shovels. And they are only available in the plastic variety. That's all Target carries, right? Target= Shrine to All Things Plastic (but I digress). Enter "Dover Parkersburg -- A Basic Supplier Since 1833." Yes, that is what landed in my inbox this morning in the form of an e-newsletter from Apartment Therapy. They carry "necessary utilitarian products....that may not be glamorous, but are guaranteed rugged and durable." Sounds perfect for kids .... or life on the farm. What types of products am I talking about, you might ask? Well, have a look:

These pails are perfect for C-Man to carry all around the yard....water, dirt, little dinosaurs, his "boom booms" (a.k.a. little cars), rocks, bugs, you name it. The stuff little boys always have with them. They would also be nice in the kids' rooms to help organize their collections of little toys. And they cost about $5 a piece.


This watering can would be perfect for C-Man too. He likes to help in "his garden." And again, no obnoxious plastic...just clean, shiny, old-fashioned goodness. Leak and rust-proof too.

Essentials for any party. Realistically, you still need to use those monster ice chests too, but put your pretty drinks and bottles of wine in these instead. BTW, doesn't Pottery Barn sell them for like $108? These are about $35 and are big enough for your baby to play in.


Another party essential. When we were planning our Summer Solstice Party, I was trying to figure out trashcans. I wanted something that looked half-way decent. Theses would have been just the thing.



What a pretty little shovel for cleaning out the fireplace!


Now, this may be pushing it a little, but I just love this galvanized washboard. Lord knows I wouldn't use it, but it might be fun for the kids, no?

A Call For Help: Vegetarian Recipe.

July 21, 2008

Hello lovely ladies (and to the one dude out there who reads this) .... I have a friend that just had a baby and there have been some unexpected complications. Both her family and her husband's family have come to town and they need some home-cooked food. Fast. So, I need to think of something delicious and nourishing for 8-9 people that also happens to be vegetarian (and preferably dairy-free ... or something I could make part of dairy-free). I have millions of recipes, but this is not my strong area. Any ideas?

Meal Planning Monday.

Monday

Corn Chowder
Crostini with Garlic Sauteed Chard

Tuesday

{Dinner out with girlfriends}
For the boys: Chicken Mango Sausage (from Costco), polenta and sauteed chard (we have lots right now)

Wednesday

Penne with Herbed Zucchini and Goat Cheese

Thursday

{Dinner with a friend -- twice in a week? This is unheard of!}
For the boys: leftovers

Friday

(Uncle Pete is coming over)
Homemade salsa and chips
Chicken Tostadas

Saturday

(Elise arrives for a week -- yay!!)

Cappelini with Shrimp and Creamy Tomato Sauce
Rita's Zucchini Blossom Fritters (remind me to share this recipe some time -- it is killer)

Sunday

Maybe Dinner Out? Elise always wants to go to Tony's Jacal as soon as she gets into town.


*this week I also need to make the Zucchini Pickles from Sunset and more baby food (I'm going to try lentils for the first time with Baby J). And I really, really want to try these. It seems like everyone is talking about them.*


BTW, this meal planning stuff is aspirational. I will probably end up making 50 percent of these ideas. But putting them in written form helps me stick to a plan and helps me avoid the 5 o'clock scramble, as Andrea called it. :)

B: the Gift Maker.

July 20, 2008

B has always been good about giving gifts. He is a very thoughtful person. When I first met him, I was impressed that he kept what he called a "grab bag" of gifts that were ready to go...perfect for heading over to somebody's house for dinner or a last minute birthday celebration. There were beautiful chocolates, notebooks brought back from Florence, little bottles of limoncello, even pretty soaps.


I am happy to report that his gift giving has just gone to the next level. Get this: Yesterday he told me he needed me to go get some baskets so he could put some vegetables from our garden in them. I didn't ask too many questions. I mean, if a guy asks for a basket, you get it for him, right? He doesn't do this this sort of thing very often. Um, yeah, that would be never. So, I went to Trader Joe's to pick up a few last minute items for our dinner party, found some baskets, came home and promptly got busy cooking, cleaning and taking care of the munchkins. B came into the kitchen awhile later with this:

He had put together gift baskets for both couples who came for dinner last night. Including: a half dozen of freshly-laid eggs, a big bunch of swiss chard, a few lemon cucumbers, some zucchini and a jar of the peach preserves. How cool was that? I think I really, really love my husband.

Amusement.

July 19, 2008

Want to see a photo of me rocking the El Torito Happy Hour, circa 1996? Really? Then, click here . (Thanks for the shoutout, Pittsy!)

Can We Talk About Sundresses?

July 18, 2008

During the summer, I like to wear sundresses. Or at least a skirt and a tank top. And especially since becoming a mom. You see, when I wear shorts, I feel like I am trying to look like a jock (which I am not. at all.) or like a teenager (which I am not. at all.). I have never liked shorts. I love short skirts however. I know. This doesn't make any sense at all. Let me try to just show you then. A sundress is easy (one piece!) and it makes a statement. And it's feminine. These are all areas in which motherhood needs a little help. A sundress just makes the day better. Check a few out: Cotton, casual, dress it up, dress it down, blueberry stains won't show. Here.

Girly, but stays put while you're chasing junior on the playground. Here.

The ultimate beach to dinner dress. I'm thinking La Jolla Shores to Barbarell-esque. Here.

A little dressier, but just because of the length. Once you are used to long dresses, they are the ultimate go-to for casual entertaining. Like a pool party for the kids. Or a mai tai party for grown-ups. Here.

This has farmer's market written all over it. Here.

If you're feeling Martha's Vineyard, circa 1984, go for this. Be sure to get yourself some canvas sneakers. (Wait, did I just say "sneakers"?) Here. I could see you in this for a little light shopping with the kids or sneaking off to lunch with a girlfriend while the sitter does your dirty work. Ahhhhh....American Apparel to the rescue. Perfect for anything, everything, especially travelling since it would be impossible to stain or wrinkle. I like that it criss-crosses in the back. Here.
If you're feeling especially sassy, or you just have a cute pair of gold sandals, go for this.

Have fun and report back.



Life With the Semi-Potty Trained.

Me: C-Man, we have to get ready to go.

C-Man: NO!!! (What else would he say?)

Me: Do you want to wear a diaper to Costco or undies? (Hoping he says diaper... I do NOT want to go in one of those bathrooms with two kids.)

C-Man: I want to wear commando!

Alrighty, then.

Cocktail Friday: Grapefruit Cooler.

For some reason, I'm not much for vodka drinks. I know it's a really neutral alcohol that mixes with almost anything, and most people (who drink anyway) really like it. I just don't. So, in my quest to find a cocktail that uses grapefruit juice (we have tons of grapefruit right now and B is always after me to use them....so must. make. cocktail.), it was hard to come up with something that doesn't have vodka in it. But I found a great one. If you're looking for an alternative to a greyhound/salty dog, try this instead. Note: a tiny bit of sea salt really helps take the bitterness out of the grapefruit.

Grapefruit Cooler
(from Epicurious)

2 cups fresh grapefruit juice (from 2 to 3 grapefruit)
1/2 cup Grand Marnier
1 1/3 cups sparkling water
Pinch sea salt
Garnish: orange slices; lime wedges; maraschino cherries

Fill 4 (12-ounce) glasses halfway with ice. Add 1/2 cup grapefruit juice, 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, and a pinch of salt to each glass and stir. Top off each drink with 1/3 cup sparkling water and stir.

Trouble.

July 17, 2008

Which of these activities did C-Man participate in before 9 a.m. this morning?

A. Wrapping the cord from the flashlight around his baby sister's neck.
B. Stripping down to a tank top and painting his entire body, including nether regions.
C. Scraping the paint off the wall using B's keys.
D. All of the above.

I think we all know the answer, don't we?

(I didn't have the heart to photograph poor Baby J crying on the floor with the cord or of my bedroom wall.)

Lemon Cucumbers.

Have you tried them? B has been growing these beauties in the garden, and he just informed me we will have at least a hundred before the season is finished. Aren't they pretty?


Today I'm going to try a little salad of the cucumbers, sliced tomatoes and rice wine vinegar. I need to think of some other ways to use them too.

Mastermind David Hicks.

July 16, 2008

I caught this over at Habitually Chic. She has a great little feature on David Hicks' book Living With Design (photos too). You should really hop over there. This photo and quote especially caught my eye. Wouldn't you just LOVE to be a guest at someone's house like this? (Or better yet, have it in your own home?) "I like rows and rows of tonic water bottles, apple and tomato juice, two of three syphons of spirits lined up behind each other; it gives a generous, welcoming atmosphere, and if a bus-load of friends does descend upon you, you are ready for them." --D.H.

Looking For a New Blog to Check Out?

Then try Julian Merrow Smith's, Postcard From Provence . An English painter, Julian has been painting and posting every day since he moved to his home in Crillon le Brave, a tiny Provencal hill village at the foot of the Mont Ventoux. I especially like his still life paintings. He has this webite too.

Summer Sale.

Remember this cool site? They are having a 20% off sale through July 27th (when you spend $50 or more -- enter code "summer08"). If you need a push in the right direction, here are a couple more things you might like:
This bedside water bottle and glass and would go perfect on my nightstand.

We have a bit of a mosquito problem over here at Green Acres. I'd like to try this -- I just can't bring myself to spray that other toxic poison stuff all over me and the babes.
I really like salt cellars a lot for some reason. This especially so.
Happy shopping!
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