Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Yesterday and Today

Yesterday I quit my job.
(Responsibly, with notice of course!) 

Today is my 30th birthday.

I am happy (and incredibly lucky) to start a new decade of my life home with Emma, free to pursue my passions.

" For what it's worth: It's never too late to be whoever you want to be. I hope you live a life you're proud of, and if you find you're not, I hope you have the strength to start over again."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald

image via

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Thanksgiving Essentials: For the Table

My mother-in-law will be hosting thanksgiving this year, but I've offered to take over the decorating duties for her. This year it's all about a table set in neutrals to allow the food to take center stage.

1. Bendt Basket || 2. Gravy Boat with Saucer || 3. Owen Pillar Holder small & large|| 4. Portrait Black Platter  || 5. Nattie Everyday Glass || 6. Boos Large Carving Board || 7. Kelsey Linen Napkin || 8. Double Old Fashioned Glasses || 9. Lotus Platter || 10. Wood Place Card Holders || 11. Onyx Place Setting

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Am I Failing at Motherhood?

After reading this mom's confession, I was inspired to share a little something I think about more than food; my daughter, and my own guilt.

Three days after Emma was born, we took her to the doctor to have her jaundice checked out, her levels were back to normal, but we were faced with another problem, her weight had dropped by about 8%. My hormones, lack of sleep and the new found responsibility of the little peanut in my arms coupled with the nurse's lack of tact followed by her announcement that I would have to supplement with formula if she had lost any more weight at the weigh-in the next morning had me in tears in that doctor's office, I was certain my fears were right, I already couldn't take care of my baby. I felt guilty that my body was failing us. I woke up and fed Emma every one and a half hours that night. The next morning, when I placed her little naked body on the scale she had gained 5 ounces. I had won that battle, by the war with myself and my emotions was just beginning.

In the 15 months since that day in the doctor's office, I have said out loud the words: 'guilt', 'guilty', 'bad mom', 'worry' and 'failing' to myself, my husband, and just a couple of friends hundreds of times. It got so bad that a few months ago at the insistence of them all, I found a therapist I now see twice a month.

The spectrum of my guilt is wide; is the TV that we keep on in the evenings impacting her development, or it creating too much noise for her to handle? Is she eating too many cheerios? Are her meals balanced? Do I spend too much time cooking dinner, and not enough time with her when I get home? Should I have had that 2nd (or 3rd) glass of wine last night after she went to bed? (What if there had been an emergency and I was half a bottle past sober?) Emma doesn't have any little friends, how will she learn to play/share? She needs to be outside more, is she getting too much sun is she is outside?

The longest and most brutal fight with myself is over my work/life balance. I work full-time with a thirty minute commute each way. I leave my house by 7:00 am and return by 5:30 pm every weekday. I get home, pack Emma into the car and drive our nanny home (about 5 minutes away) then it's time to make dinner, eat, maybe 30 minutes of play time after dinner and then bath, book and bed for the little one. Feeding my family nutritious home cooked meals is very important to me, but is it a determent to Emma? I feel guilty that I'm spending so much of my time cooking and not focused solely on her.

We love our nanny Isabel, and she loves Emma and Emma adores her too. But this morning my heart was in my stomach when we walked out to greet Isabel in the kitchen, (We're lucky to have Isabel arrive about 45 minutes early each morning so that I can get ready for work.) Emma took one look at her and started shaking her head 'no' and turned on her heels, arms outstretched, morning had come too soon, and she still wanted mama. Her protests about being with Isabel lasted only a few seconds, and then she was back to her happy self in her wonderful nanny's arms, but I was so sad as I walked to our bedroom to get ready for the day. In an ideal world I would stay home with Emma, while still working from home a few hours each day so that I can help fulfill that need most of us have to eat and pay bills. Unfortunately, my current job requires that I be in the office. My husband and I have had many conversations about this over the last year and while he is supportive either way, I feel guilty about not pulling my weight financially. And to be honest, earning a paycheck is really gratifying, I like knowing that I can buy cute things for Emma or myself without having to worry about the impact it may have on our family budget. But one part of Erin Hill's essay has really stuck with me:

'The same script plays in my head every morning: 'It's just temporary. We just need to get through this week, this month, this summer, this school year',And then: "They wont wait for you. Their childhood is now and they are not getting what they need. You aren't giving them what they need. They need you, and you're not here."

I guess the point of this post is part venting and in part casting a line to see if there are any moms who have found the wok/life balance I am struggling with finding. How do you handle the stress of motherhood and work?

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wednesday Links

I'm back from our trip to the river in Parker, Arizona where my in-laws have a boat. We spent four days in the sun enjoying time away from our phones, email, social media, and with a few brief exceptions, TV. Suffice to say, we all had a blast. Every night a group of wild burros would make there way to the river shore where we were staying and they fearlessly ate from our hands, and perhaps even from my mouth... too much? Emma came home with her first ever cold (and fever, yikes!) so forgive me for bowing out early this week, taking care of my sick babe is priority number one. But, I'll be back Monday with ideas for Thanksgiving and maybe more birthday demands err suggestions. A few links to peruse until then...

I really like Sara's aesthetic and blog, and she's offering a blog design special for a limited time.

This hot chocolate looks delicious.

This latest trip has really reinforced that I need to a.) practice taking better photos of Emma and b.) invest in a good camera... my iPhone really isn't cutting it.

A timely lesson for keeping a well stocked wine fridge this season.

Fun flats for staying comfortable during holiday hosting duties.

And, lastly, a friendly reminder that now is the time to start forcing Paper Whites if you'd like blooms for Christmas.

Photo by me

Monday, November 4, 2013

On My List: Birthday Edition

My thirtieth birthday is later this month. Let this serve as notification, I would love everything ( a few things, somethings, one thing?) from this list. Everything is relatively affordable (a good thing with the holidays around the corner, and would be put to use immediately in my kitchen... Happy Shopping!)

1.) I love the subtle shape of these wine glasses. I drink wine just about every night, the probability that I will drop and break one of these glasses is 100% at about $4.00 each, an easy price point to replenish as necessary.

2.) I love these blanket stitch napkins, they're simple enough for weeknight dinners through the fall and winter.

3.) I have been eyeing these bottles for months. They're glass (no funny plastic taste or leaching into your water) with a silicone sleeve so they won't break,  This mint one will be mine.

4.) Dutch ovens are seriously the workhorse of the kitchen, I have larger ones but this 2qt dutch oven (In Flame, of course) would be perfect for making a little rice, quinoa or perhaps a little soup.

5.) This pocket sized collection of egg recipes by Ian Knauer (former Editor at Gourmet) Because, "Eggs are the superheroes of our refrigerators, just as essential at breakfast as they are at dessert."  This book is the first edition of the Short Stack Series that includes, Tomatoes and Strawberries with more on the way.

6.) What better way to ring in my thirtieth than with a glass of champagne?! I really love the idea of stemless for champagne, Especially when I'm indulging on a weekday or just because... A stemmed champagne glass feels almost too fancy?

7.) These three knives and maybe a serrated knife (for bread and tomatoes) are all you really need in a your kitchen.

8.) This gold serving spoon because, why not?

9.) marble board for all of the pastry dough that is sure to be rolled out this holiday season. And at a more affordable price that other boards I've seen!

10.) All Clad soup pot and ladle, perfect for making stock, or a big pot of the aforementioned soup, or for boiling pasta... again, the workhorse of the kitchen.

11.) These shimmery gold napkins. Please see no. 8 above.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy Weekend!

We're on our way to Parker, AZ for a long weekend on the river. I'm excited for long boozy rides on the boat followed by lazy leisurely naps with Emma. We're meeting my in-laws and some family friends out there and each couple has been assigned a night to prepare dinner. We're grilling steaks which we'll serve with a quick olive oil/lemon vinaigrette drizzled over arugula and these potatoes.
For breakfast I want nothing more than biscuits and gravy from Badenoch's, a little place we dock our boat right up to. Throw in a bloodymary and my morning is set. Hope you have a good one!

image via