Thursday, February 26, 2015

annie's + bernie's farm: real food is fun

ever since we started our first garden in earnest, elodie and francesca have loved everything to do with growing food and watching the first shoots appear in the garden beds. they harvest our kale, sweet peas, broccoli, carrots, and beets and help me make kale chips and big salads with the ingredients.
on a recent thursday afternoon, we sat down with a big farmer's market box that annie's sent us that was filled with healthy snacks and meals from their new bernie's farm line, as well as fun activities, a kit to grow some of our own fruits and vegetables, and a little gardening tool set. the girls opened the seed kit, filled the little pots with soil, and marveled at the different shapes and sizes of the seeds. it's so great that annie's is working to make snacking a little more meaningful by teaching children where food comes from.
i always try to pack the girls lunches with fruit and veggies from our garden and local farmer's market and will sometimes pack annie's snacks as well. i love their commitment to organic ingredients and the fact that they use no artificial flavors, synthetic colors or preservatives. the shapes and colors of bernie's farms snacks are super fun and feature little tractors, farm animals, and carrots.

since it was thursday, after we planted and had a snack, we made our list and headed out for our weekly trip to the farmer's market. it has been such a great place to introduce the girls to a variety of fruits and veggies that change throughout the season. they are way more likely to try new foods if they have selected it themselves and they get to actually meet the people who grow what we are buying. 

another great learning tool that really helps reinforce where our food comes from is a book called "how does my garden grow" by gerda muller. it is the story of a little girl who lives in the city and gets her vegetables from the supermarket. it then follows her to her grandparents' farm and shows what goes in to growing fruits and vegetables. it has such lovely illustrations and it is fun hearing elodie tell people about her favorite parts of the book. knowing that we are connected to the food cycle is one of the greatest bits of knowledge that she could have. real food IS fun. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

the guest house

this being human is a guest house.
every morning a new arrival.
a joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.

welcome and entertain them all!

even if they are a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of it's furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
he may be clearing you out for 
some new delight. 

the dark thought, the shame, the malice.
meet them at the door laughing
and invite them in. 
be grateful for whatever comes,
because each has been sent as a
guide from beyond.

- jelaluddin rumi

Thursday, February 19, 2015

staycation at the st. regis monarch beach

all last week it was in the low eighties here in los angeles and i started to feel resentful of all the exotic instagram feeds featuring children bundled up and landscapes white washed with snow. i know it sounds crazy to grumble about beautiful weather but sometimes you just want a rain storm in february. instead of continuing to complain, i grabbed our swimsuits and headed an hour south to
the st. regis monarch beach in dana point.

for my family, planning weekend activities can be a little stressful. there has to be the right amount of activity and downtime to keep everyone happy. the family traditions at st. regis program took the guess work out of our stay in dana point and crafted a wonderful itinerary for us. all we had to do was show up and enjoy! 

we arrived and the girls were greeted with sand buckets and the cutest beanie baby dolphins (elodie is recently obsessed with beanie babies, is this a six year old thing?) they made a beeline to the pool where we enjoyed a lovely lunch in a poolside cabana.

after a swim and a bite to eat, we headed to catch a boat for a dolphin and whale watching tour in dana point harbor. i am a little ashamed to admit that i've never been whale watching in california even though i grew up an hour south of dana point. just as we were leaving the hotel, a fog rolled in and there was a little concern that we wouldn't see any of the dolphins and whales that had been swimming just off shore. the girls both fell asleep for about a half an hour and then woke just as the sun broke and the first pod of dolphins appeared alongside our boat. we saw so many dolphins and four grey whales during our trip out to sea. we watched the sun set over the catalina islands and passed a buoy of sea lions on the way back to the harbor. i must admit that my two year old was a little over it at the end and i wish i had packed more snacks but it was entirely worth the wrangling to see her delight in the jumping dolphins.

that evening we had dinner at the monarch bay club and then we headed back to our hotel room. the girls loved the turn down service which included kid-sized robes and cookies. it was so fun to cuddle up in bed and talk about the exciting events of the day.

the next morning we headed straight to the pool and stayed there until the girls were too tired to swim. they sat excitedly eating lunch in big fluffy towels until we scooped them up and took them to the big bathtub in our hotel room. one of my favorite feelings from childhood is the kind of tired and hungry you experience after a full day of play. so often we are busy rushing from here to there and not able to fully immerse ourselves in one place. the look of contentedness on their sleepy faces let me know that they will remember our stay for a long time to come.

*this is a sponsored post. all opinions are my own. thank you for the sweet family experience st. regis hotels and resorts!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

te amo tulum

last month i had the opportunity to celebrate my dear friend paige's birthday in tulum. michael had to work and graciously offered to stay home with the girls. the idea of uninterrupted sleep had me counting the days until this trip and it was more beautiful than a dream. we swam in underwater caves,  had long, conversation filled dinners, walked along a deserted beach under a huge night full of stars, covered ourselves with mud and then ran into the warm, windy ocean. there were more beautiful moments of connection than i could have ever hoped for. thank you paige for inviting me along to share time with this incredible group of friends. i'll carry the quiet imprint of this time throughout my life.

take a peek at #elpaigo here

and a post about my first time in tulum (five years ago!) here

to stay:
coqui coqui
coco tulum is a great option if you don't mind sharing facilities - i highly recommend it if everywhere else is booked out

to eat: 
posada margherita 
el tabano (and the little taco place next door!)
casa jaguar

for drinks: 
coqui coqui (also good breakfast & lunch)

to stay:
coqui coqui
coco tulum is a great option if you don't mind sharing facilities - i highly recommend it if everywhere else is booked out

we only had time to visit the dos ojos cenote park. the actual dos ojos cenote was closed because there had been an earthquake the day before we visited but we went to a beautiful one that was a five minute drive from the entrance where you pay.  there is a large cenote at the entrance with lily pads and loads of people. keep on walking until you get to the next one. heaven awaits!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

stand here and think about someone you love

these past few weeks i have been feeling very inward and also have had waves of a cold come and go. i respect this restorative time of year, an in between in the seasons, and know that it's a nice time to rest before the spring. i've been going to bed early, taking more walks, and really not trying to push myself physically in hopes that i will finally feel 100%. one thing that has come to me this week has been the practice of metta bhavana which seems perfect for valentine's day.

metta bhavana is simply a meditation on loving kindness. it is a buddhist practice where you cultivate love for yourself, for a good friend (or family member), for a neutral person, for a person who rubs you the wrong way and, finally, for everyone.

you start with
may i be well.
may i be happy.
may i be free from suffering. 

may you be well.
may you be happy.
may you be free from suffering. 

may all beings everywhere be well.
may all beings everywhere be happy.
may all beings everywhere be free from suffering.

it's easy to think about someone you care about with loving kindness but how about those you barely know or down right detest? not worth your time right? i found a guided metta bhavana meditation on the insight timer app that i love and have been practicing during francesca's nap. i come out of it feeling refreshed and really do have a bit more patience for myself and everyone. it isn't always easy to set aside time to doing something like this, but if you can get through the first 7 minutes of it, i promise it will be worth it. the guided meditation is called "development of lovingkindness" in case you are looking for it!

neighborhood message from the inimitable dallas clayton

Monday, February 9, 2015

on boredom

for a good portion of my childhood we didn't have a television. i remember, at the time, my mother told us it was because it was broken but i'm not entirely sure that is true. whatever the reason, we were left with plenty of time after school and on weekends to do chores, to play with each other outside, to read books, to do art projects. and i also remember a lot of day dreaming. i consider the time i had to simply be as invaluable to my inner dream life and creativity.

fast forward to now…my six year old has just learned the phrase "i'm bored." at first i would become cross when she said it. but why was i reacting so strongly? when i would hear "i'm bored" i would feel defensive and guilty for not giving her more. more stimulus, more engagement, more enrichment. 

i have pondered why these new words have affected me so and realize that it's not up to me to plant ideas in her. i can't make her creative or fuel her imagination. that is her journey. it is also very much my journey as a parent. 

boredom can be a creative state if we, as parents, are not afraid of it. if we are constantly needing a diversion or distraction than we are more likely to offer that to our children. imaginative play is the cure for boredom in a young child. finding things that will also allow our brains that much needed down time is as critical for us as it is for them. consciously choosing how we will spend our time rather than reinforcing bad habits. instead of picking up the phone, picking up a book. instead of turning on the television, organizing the bathroom. do something that will ultimately make you happier. i'm saying this as much (if not more) to myself than the you out there. 

i have been trying to model slowness and time for reflection each afternoon. the mornings are rushed during the week and i try to offer an antidote to that in the afternoons. by making sure the girls' things are organized, i can illuminate the possibilities that surround them at home. when they can truly feel me there, even if i'm doing something else, than they can feel secure to explore with time in the garden, in the dirt, picking and arranging flowers. time listening to records with each other. time spent simply dreaming and singing and making up stories and acting out the things that have happened to them through play. there must be time each day to drink in slowness while i am around doing my chores or a quiet activity such as reading near them. 

boredom can be an uncomfortable state but it also represents curiosity, togetherness, separateness, unexpected creativity, reflection, and harmony. most of all, it can be a great opportunity. 

lovely tent and stool from the wilderness collection, a collaboration by kalon studios & nico nico

Monday, January 26, 2015

madewell old town pasadena party

angelinos! come out of hibernation and join me for a party i'm hosting at the madewell in old town pasadena. there will be drinks, treats from fatty sunday's and discounts throughout the store. i would love to meet you!

where: madewell in old town pasadena 126 west colorado blvd. pasadena, ca 91105
when: friday, january 30 from 7-9 pm

photo: darcy hemley