Tuesday, February 28, 2012

raising girls

last night i went with a friend to a lecture given by ruth beaglehole on raising girls. i feel like the last twelve hours i have been soaking up the information and want to write it down while it is still fresh. there was an article last summer that touched on some of the topics of last night but my biggest takeaway was to define the attributes i want her to have when she is my age; confident, playful, kind, creative, adventurous, unafraid, healthy, compassionate, intelligent, nonjudgmental. these are the first words that come to mind. in order for this to be a reality i need to make a conscious commitment to be my daughter's ally on this journey of growing up. the words i choose, the behavior i model, the example i set are all a part of who my daughter will become. i left feeling a little overwhelmed by this huge responsibility of people making but that also this responsibility is a precious gift. our society is so geared to make our young women competitive, insecure, and self-critical. the most important thing we can do is advocate for them and help them realize what is alive in them. the labels we give our children (cute, spirited, defiant, rowdy) scratch the surface of their beautiful and complex spirits. sugar and spice is fine sprinkled in but it's time to develop a more robust vocabulary to describe elodie. i look forward to doing the work and am so grateful for the resource of echo parenting.

Monday, February 27, 2012


when i first moved to los angeles, i remember listening to an episode of this american life where a famous food critic, jonathan gold, spent time trying to eat his way across pico blvd. this street is known for it's food diversity and has literally hundreds of ethnic restaurants ranging from guatamalan, oaxacan, korean, salvadoran, persian, japanese, and thai all the way to brazilian. while i am admittedly not as adventurous of an eater as jonathan gold, i do like to go down to pico to see another side of la's restaurant culture.

this weekend we found ourselves at papa cristo's. it's a greek marketplace/taverna where you can get greek provisions and also some seriously tasty food. it's always a treat when papa cristo himself is around as he likes to spoil the children with little cookies. you are likely to see a handful of ancient women wearing their all black garb standing in line for fresh bread and olives or families joining together after a service at the greek orthodox church down the street. eating here reminds me how vast the city is and how much there is left to see!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

sakura bloom + the littlest sling collab

excuse the radio silence. there are so many big projects happening right now for me. one i'm really excited about is a sling collaboration that i'm doing with sakura bloom. i've created a little inspiration board with some possible ideas/fabrics and can't wait to see what we come up with! if you missed my entries in the sakura bloom styleathon, check them out here.

photos of elodie and i by sarah yates

image 1, 2, 3, 4

Friday, February 17, 2012

twenty four hours in vegas

my husband and friends throw a huge party in las vegas for wppi every year and it's right around the corner. it's a chance to dance, wear a pretty dress and catch up with really inspiring friends and photographers from all over the world. what's not to love?

if you happen to be going, there is a great giveaway for two tickets over at 100 layer cake! see you on the dance floor.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

i look into your eyes and see the universe not yet born

this past weekend i was listening to john lennon's "look at me" and it reminded me that even though i walk through life with the we that is my family, sometimes i don't really see them.

we is a gift that needs to be nurtured daily. it's easy to take for granted that we are separate people who choose to be together every day.

look at your beloved today. really try to see him or her and think "what can i do for you?" rather than dwell on things they should do for you. there is a saying by rumi that i find so beautiful, "i look into your eyes and see the whole universe -- born and not yet born." there is so much to come especially if we can open our eyes and hearts to each other...

ok, that's my sappy bit for the day. without further ado, here is a valentine's playlist* filled with a few love songs that have been important to me. michael always holds my hand when "love story" by harry nillson comes on and our wedding recessional was "as" by stevie wonder - it's such a wonderful song. happy valentine's day!

here comes the sun - nina simone
look at me - john lennon
each coming night - iron & wine
cherry - jj cale
deep blue sea - daniel rossen home recording
simply beautiful - al green
don't watch me dancing - little joy
say yes - elliott smith
forever - billy walker
love story (you & me) - harry nillson
as - stevie wonder (the best lyrics)

i found this painting last weekend at the rose bowl flea market. isn't it lovely?

*right click to download

Monday, February 13, 2012

weekends are for...

exploring your city! the weather was gorgeous and we spent a lot of time outdoors. elodie had a blast at her new dance class and it was so fun watching her and her little friends making cute moves. i always thought that we'd wait until she turned four to start ballet/tap but she loves it! on sunday, we made a quick stop by the rose bowl flea market. i've been a little turned off lately by it's high prices and vendors unwilling to haggle but it's still a great place to find little curios and beautiful vintage. everyone haggles - even on portobello road - get with it rose bowl. we ended the weekend with a pot of turkey bolognese, some extra stinky cheeses, fresh bread, cerignola olives and a big arugula salad from the farmer's market. a beautiful weekend in LA!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

a few small changes

i came across the environmental working group's website last year. after about fifteen minutes reading through it i went on a rampage through my house tossing bottles of shampoo and cleaning supplies. there is always more we can change to make our homes healthier (i'll get into that a different day) but it really doesn't take much to change what we put on our skin. the rule of thumb is if you wouldn't eat it, it shouldn't go on your skin. i haven't gone that far but there are a few products that are pretty well rated on the ewg's skin deep i've been using for the last six months or so that i thought i'd share.

i grew up in california and was never really told (sorry mom) how important it is to wear sunscreen. my friends and i would ride our bike to the beach after school and douse ourselves with hawaiian tropic. i'm definitely paying for it now! i've used many sunscreens but a facialist recommended the suntegrity line. it smells delicious and has no oxybenzone. for elodie, i use badger baby sunscreen. it takes a bit of elbow grease to rub in but that means it's working, right?

it's scary what is in a normal deodorant and i am definitely one of those people who need it. after a lot of trial and error trying crystals, lush natural bars, and sprays i have found the best deodorants are alba botanicals, tom's and hugo's natural. i am still partial to weleda's sage deodorant which doesn't have the biggest culprit, aluminum, but it still is a bit questionable.

i made the switch a long time ago to the dr. bronner line for bath washes. it is a southern california company (he lived down the street from us growing up) well known for his eccentric bottles of castile soaps. during the winter i usually get a big bottle of the eucalyptus wash and during the summer i'll get rose, peppermint or lavender. you'll end up reading the bottle for many other reasons besides the ingredients. i also love burt's bees milk & shea butter body wash.

for elodie's bath we use california baby (and sometimes burt's bees) especially the calendula bubble bath and calming shampoo. i also highly recommend dr. bronner's baby wash. toddlers love to wash, wash, wash and so i have a cute dispenser full of this for her.

my favorite body moisturizers are monoi tiare tahiti coconut oil and organic coconut oil (which i also use as a night cream!)

the upside to researching what you use is that you won't be tempted to buy things randomly in sephora. knowing what you are putting on your body, really understanding that it can affect you in the long run, can help you from having the drawers upon drawers of half filled bottles of shampoo, lotion, and makeup (or at least this is what i tell myself.) so far it's working!

a little ritual

recently, i've been drinking espresso rather than my typical americano or cup of tea. it's such a delicious little ritual. you wait while the barista lays out the saucer, spoon and a small glass of seltzer. next, they pour a perfect creamy shot of espresso into a lovely little cup. you might decide to take it at the bar if you are alone and make conversation with the employees or take it back to your table and enjoy it with your friends. my friend mona, whom i met while living in france, always said that if sugar took a while to penetrate the rich top coat that it was a good shot of espresso. she was something of a coffee snob even way back then. i normally don't take sugar with it but every once in a while i pour some in just to see.

picture taken at proof bakery in los angeles. the pastries are incredible (as is the espresso!)

Monday, February 6, 2012

cross my heart

nothing makes you feel prettier than a little ban.do (or a lot!) and i can't think of anything sweeter than giving your valentine a heart or two. and this tote? pretty much. i hope someone sends me a valentine!

Friday, February 3, 2012

nothing will outlive our love

leigh of marvelous kiddo just wrote about we live young and i could not resist sharing. reading matt & nirimi's birth story and the moment they met their daughter alba gave me chills and reminded me so much of elodie's birth. but most of all their photography captures love, beautiful love, adventure, and the vastness of life. namaste to this sweet little family.

images here

Thursday, February 2, 2012

a good night's sleep

we are transitioning elodie out of the crib and into a "big girl bed" this weekend! a lot of her friends have them and she has been talking about it incessantly...still, she doesn't crawl out of her crib and sleeps through the night so it's been hard to not selfishly savor the guaranteed sleep. we went a few weeks ago to get the mattress and let her pick out the sheets (pink polka dot of course) and plan on talking to her about it tomorrow. i'm not sure if it's better to go cold turkey but we are leaving the crib up so she has the choice between the bed and her crib. i'm still on the hunt for the perfect twin bed frame so we are starting her off on the floor. i'm excited for this next phase and look forward to storytime every night in her bedroom. wish us luck!

image here

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

seattle short list

a quick list of some of my favorite cafés, restaurants, and things to do on capitol hill and downtown seattle. this list is just the tip of the iceberg. i could seriously go on and on about the revolution that is happening in ballard and on 15th ave and might in a future post!

on capitol hill//
stumptown - hands down the best espresso.

top pot - we used to live within walking distance of top pot. when it opened i literally gained five pounds from trying all the different donuts. i try to limit my visits to every other time i'm in seattle.

bauhaus - i had one of my first interactions with my husband-to-be here so it holds a place in my heart forever. great coffee and pastries.

vivace - this is where you want to get a fancy latte.

café presse  - presse is one of my favorite types of restaurants. you can go in the morning for breakfast, meet friends there for lunch, sit at the bar for an appetizer, or come in late night for a lillet, mint tea and a plate of cookies. i took my grandma and she says they have the best sandwich she's ever eaten (croque monsieur) i don't eat ham but i think she's had a lot of sandwiches in her eighty seven years so i'll take her word. don't miss the sister restaurant le pichet downtown. also fantastic! 

oddfellows café - good for breakfast, lunch or dinner. there are a lot of really cute shops on this block as well.

than brothers pho - i am a little bit squeamish when it comes to bits and bobs in my pho. than brothers has a veggie pho that will knock your socks off. and it comes with a little cream puff. super filling and delicious for less than $6!

the kingfish cafe - best southern food you will probably have outside the south. the fried green tomatoes are a must!

back in the dot com days, i worked at pier 70 down at the seattle waterfront. i would ride my old raleigh through pike place market every morning for breakfast and endure the even more brutal hill climb every night. i still cannot get enough of the fresh produce, even fresher donuts and fantastic waterfront views.

café campagne (and le pichet) are great brunch spots in pike's place market.

shiro's and maneki are my top recs for sushi and i've heard wonderful things about momiji on capitol hill. 

and if you are after chinese food then make sure you visit shanghai garden and tamarind tree for vietnamese (head over to uwajimaya for some browsing after!)

and i must give a recommendation for my favorite yoga studio. if you ever get a little extra time and are looking for an amazing class, i highly recommend samadhi yoga on 12th and pike. it is inspired by jivamukti in nyc so a little bit more spiritual than your average yoga class but you will leave feeling happy inside and out. i was lucky enough to be able to practice with one of my oldest teachers and it left me wishing i had a studio half as good in los angeles. 

i hope to share more next time i'm up (next time i'll bring my real camera too!)