Tuesday, July 31, 2012

love is...six years of being married!

today marks our sixth wedding anniversary. it's a pretty monumental one as we just bought our first home together (we closed last friday!) and in packing i found a few photo albums from our wedding. one contained all of the rsvps that our friends sent back to us. we asked each to write a little something about what love is. we have a creative, interesting group of friends and family and looking through all of them made me laugh, made me cry.

my ultimate favorite was from my beautiful mother. love is sharing one vision for the future. this applies more and more every day. the more we've intertwined our lives through children, big purchases, heartache, and happiness, the more i believe this. i'm so grateful for this love that grows, expands, and shifts. the moments when we say "yes!" because we are aligned on our future are my moments of greatest fulfillment. here is to many more! and here is a song that forever reminds me of you my love.

some more of what love is...

• family
• an action verb
• little white lies and big black magic
• your unfolding arms...
• the greatest blessing and our principal assignment
• unconditional. unselfish. do not give up EVER!
• smiles. clean air. stinky cheese. truth. cat naps. sleep.
• eternal
• saying yes!!

top image by jose villa. can't wait to show more!

Monday, July 30, 2012

french country salad

this is a loose adaptation of a salad i ate all the time while living in provence. last night i made it for family dinner to accompany a steak and veggies my husband was grilling. elodie loves lentils and goat cheese (and i can coax her to take a few bites of the beets/salad) so the components are there for our whole family. lentils, beets, asparagus, and hazelnuts are not only delicious but also good for my growing baby. 

summer lentil salad


• 1 cup black beluga lentils
• 3 large beets
• mesclun salad or spring mix (one clamshell*)
• 2 cups hazelnuts
• 5 oz. goat cheese
• 1 bunch asparagus

for the dressing:
• 1 cup olive oil
• 1 tbsp. canola or olive oil
• 2 tsp. dijon or granary mustard
• 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
• splash of worcestershire sauce (or squeeze of lemon) 
• salt and pepper to taste
• whisk the above together and set aside

next steps:
• add one cup of lentils to 2 1/2 cups of water and bring to a boil
• reduce to a simmer and cover until most of the water is gone (15-20 min) you might have to drain. you don't want to over cook or you'll be stuck with mushy lentils.
• drain the lentils, put in a bowl, and chill in the refrigerator.

• place hazelnuts in a large frying pan over medium heat. stirring every minute until skins start to come off (about 8-10 min). place on a plate and after they've cooled a bit, remove skins. i crush mine a bit so they last longer. 
• peel your beets and chop into small chunks. you can either steam them for 15-20 minutes or roast them in the oven for about 40 (at 400 degrees)
• grill the asparagus (or sauté if you don't already have the bbq going) 

when all of your ingredients are prepped, you can bring bowls of each to the table, or plate for your guests.  crumble goat cheese on top and salt/pepper as you wish. 

toast up some baguette and serve with french butter (of a piece of salty cheese and a thin spread of dijon mustard) and you have yourself a lovely summer meal! 

* this should last you a few days if you get the clamshell of lettuce

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

navel gazing. twenty four weeks.

yesterday elodie and i were walking and she said, "i want to take you to the special place mama. there's a swing and a river and we can sing songs, ok mama? ok?" she had visited this place with my friend cleo and her two children and it was a thing of myth to me. when she finally took me up the hill i was in awe. there was a little brown craftsman that looked like hansel and gretel's home, a babbling brook, tiny bridge, and a wooden swing hanging from a tree. the east side of los angeles has the most magical hidden pockets and, even after four years here, we are still stumbling upon these treasures. after elodie was tucked away in bed, we ran back up the hill to take some twenty four week bump shots.

baby is growing steadily and for the most part i still forget that i'm pregnant. all of a sudden, i get a big thump in the belly which brings me back to reality. in three months we will have a precious new member of our family. sleep has been an issue but swimming helps tremendously with that. my belly has grown rapidly over the past few weeks which is exciting. i am taking it all in. the awkward unsexy moments, the moments i love my changing shape, the funny stares as i walk into a spin class. this is a singular moment in my life. it goes so slow, it goes so fast. i'm grateful for the experience. also, since we are moving soon, i am going through my closet. trying to determine what stays and what goes. i'm finding some fun old dresses and thought to wear this one since it is incredibly comfortable and reminds me of long summer nights in new york city. seems like ages ago but really was only about four years! life is wild.

24 week you
little sister, little daughter, i am starting to know your rhythms. when i sing or after i eat, you start dancing around in my belly. this weekend i took a nap, your big sister in the crook of one arm, my other hand free to feel you kicking underneath it. i wept tears of at this new sensation. i am wakening to so many new experiences i never imagined when you decided to come into being. every peach and every plum that i eat, every swim in the ocean, every moment in the sun during this first summer of your becoming and last summer of my life as a mama of one feels strange and new. i'm so curious to know who you are, how you will be different from your sister, what heart value you will bring to our little family. keep growing steadily. love, your mama

photos by jennifer emerling

Friday, July 20, 2012

second trimester wellness

i'm coming up on 24 weeks pregnant and, as hectic as life is right now, i'm feeling pretty amazing. buying a home, raising a (sleepless) toddler, and working freelance are challenging my equanimity at the moment. here are some things that have helped keep me on an even keel.

1. exercise
it is no joke when they say that giving birth is like preparing for a marathon. it requires physical and mental strength. with elodie, i took tons of prenatal yoga classes, hiked four times a week, and swam a ton. this pregnancy? cut that regimen in half. i have been trying to make it to my regular yoga and spin class once or twice a week but when i can't break away, i walk. and walk. and walk. i am also (finally) starting pre-natal yoga and aquatic fitness classes. i took my first today and am thrilled with how i feel.

2. nutrition
i am starving all the time. if i go more than two hours without eating i get really cranky. i've made it a point to stock my car and bag with little bags of trail mix, apples, and plenty of water. i have also been making a lot of delicious salads at the beginning of the week so that i always have something nutritious on hand. it's so tempting to eat a donut, but i'm really, really trying not to. i am going to post soon about my favorite pregnancy foods, smoothies, and drinks. i have a lot of great ones!

3. skincare
dry skin brushing and abhyanga (especially in the winter) have been one of my favorite pick me ups since i can remember. there are periods of time when i fall off, but nothing rejuvenates a swollen, lethargic feeling mama like a good morning brush, followed by a hot/cold shower (end on cold), and application of a favorite oil or lotion. i love coconut oil or bio-oil. i've been slathering it on after showers to keep the stretch marks at bay. trust me, i know that this is more a placebo as getting stretch marks is hereditary but so far, so good. i'm doing it just in case!

 4. decluttering the mind
i have been doing my best to carve out twenty minutes a day to sit in meditation. i have also created a schedule for when i'm "allowed" to be on twitter, pinterest, or facebook. seriously, junk food is not good for your body and too much social media is not good for your mind. i find it ironic that i would try and make statements like "i don't let elodie to watch x, y, or z" and then i turn right around and pick up my iPhone. i'm really working on this one. it's hard!

this is a picture from my LAST pregnancy with elodie (at 7 1/2 months)..i have kept it close as it was a happy moment that helps me make good decisions in this pregnancy!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

find the wonder

have you seen these adorable photo projects by toyokazu? a little happiness for your day...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

87 years young

happy birthday to one of the most important people in my life, my grandmother betty jean! she is my favorite partner in crime at thrift stores, restaurants, and bingo halls. i hope that i stay as young as she has! long may you run...

p.s. i have no idea what i'm doing here.

Monday, July 9, 2012

into the sea, just you and me

elodie, michael, and i headed down to north county san diego for a little family visit this weekend. i felt at home the minute i turned off the freeway and rolled down the windows. my three favorite towns are leucadia, encinitas, and cardiff-by-the sea. i've lived in many different places within these three towns, rode my bike up and down the steep hills, took midnight swims under the stars, slept outdoors on a balmy summer night, i love returning to this little spot of ocean. the salt air and rhythm of the waves are so restorative. it's no wonder in the olden days (at least in the books i read) they would send the sickly and depressive to the seashore for some healing. i'll have some of my favorite spots up later this week!

i've been living in this pineapple dress from urban outfitters. i ordered a size bigger than normal and it's been the best transitional maternity piece yet!

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


we had a wonderful fourth of july this year. i made sure i got in a morning hike, made an olive oil lemon cake with elodie, took a nap, and then went to kelly's house in marina del rey for a lovely little backyard bbq with some dear friends. i couldn't have asked for better company. i'm a pretty sentimental person so it felt extra special spending this last 4th of july with elodie before little sister comes.

i also finished team of rivals, a really amazing (750 page) bio on abraham lincoln. his impact on our country is inestimable and it made me appreciate our country even more than i already do. i must admit, i'm glad it's finally over  - time to get to work on elodie's baby books before baby #2 arrives!! (i'm such a slacker!)

Monday, July 2, 2012

a happy place

it's been a while since i've come across textiles that make me so happy. by swedish designer tove johannson naturally. the colors are so fantastic!!

photos by the equally fantastique aurélie lecuyer