Thursday, February 28, 2013


Icelandic fish soup
Moroccan Orange Salad

I've have a new favorite place to visit, thanks to a tip from a friend. It is a food and family blog called Manger, superbly written out of Médoc, France by Mimi Thorisson. It really couldn't be lovelier. Take a scroll a few posts and I promise you will feel your winter malaise lifting. The photography is generous and inviting. The food featured on the blog is lovingly prepared for the family to eat and that purpose comes through in the images. I want to take a vacation just so I can make all of the cakes in the recipe archive!

Photos by Oddur Thorisson via Manger

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Let's talk about The Girls

Can I just get candid here for a moment and share something? Sure I can. Let's talk about breasts.

I'm not what you would call well-endowed in the breast department. If I still had them, I could easily wear the bras I owned back in 8th grade. I actually don't really even need a bra. I remember being fourteen and thinking, "Any day now, they will start growing. Annnnyyy day." Yeah, that day never really came. And I always felt totally cheated. And really kind of down. I felt less shapely, less womanly, and less desirable. I wanted larger breasts so badly that whenever I appeared in my own dreams, I was always a couple cups sizes bigger with glorious cleavage. And then I would wake up and say "good morning" to my teeny-bopper tatinas. I tolerated them, but I didn't love them. I just wasn't super excited about The Girls.

That started to change when I went to college. I ran on the cross country team and, for the first time in my life, got to see other women's bodies in the locker room. Wow - the variety! The beauty! The imperfection! This seemed to be especially true of breasts. I began to realize that very, very few of us are built like the women in the lingerie ads. Very few. And this made me think about myself, and my breasts in a different way. My body education continued when I studied abroad in Morocco. I lived with a family who bathed at the local hammam (public bathhouse) and so guess what - I did, too. The more I saw of womanhood, the more I started to like the hand I had been dealt. 

But it was motherhood that really made me see the light. If I could, I would give my boobs a full salute with canons and marching horses and the works today. I would hold a parade in their honor. Because now I realize that they are perfect. They are team players. They have worked really, really hard for my son and me this past year - and it has not always been easy. Feeding Severen has been the joy of my life.  I enjoyed the quiet moments in those first months when I daydreamed/slept and studied him while he nursed. I enjoy the fun moments now, nursing a 1-year-old, when we chat and play games. Nursing forces both of us to be still, slow down and just hold on to each other: A little boy and his mama enjoying a very small window of precious time.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Jean Jean Vintage is 20% off through Monday night. Treat yourself!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

You don't have time to make this bread

I spotted this bread at the store this morning and thought the packaging was so great. This fancy rye bread is made the old, old, old fashioned way. Only wooden tools (bowls, boards, etc.) used to handle it, only branch-less wood used to fire the ovens, no yeast, left to rise for 36 hours, double-baked at 1000 and then 500 degrees, etc. Quite the story (here is a cute video about it). The promotional script promises that the bread will make one feel "lavishly nourished." I think those two words sound very good together! I'm planning a little outdoor adventure this weekend in the snow and cold . .  maybe I will pack some of this bread and some butter for the trip?

Have you tried a new food product lately that you've really enjoyed? Tea? Crackers? Cheese? Chocolate? I would love to hear about it.

{Images via}

Monday, February 18, 2013

Under construction

U.S. Capitol 1846, via
Washington Monument 1869, via
Lincoln Memorial 1916, via

I've got Presidents and Washington D.C. on my mind this President's Day thanks to House of Cards, which was excellent. Have you watched it? Robin Wright's character has the best haircut, which I am going to try to copy on my own head in a few weeks.

Also, fun fact: I got engaged here in Washington D.C. on New Year's Eve, 2002 (10 years ago!) after a tour of the monuments at night. Pretty romantic.

Friday, February 15, 2013

My journal, 1988

When I was visiting my mom last year I came across an old journal/notebook of mine. I was sort of shocked by what I wrote! I guess this was my way of dealing with some heavy seven-year-old stuff, like fear of tornadoes, fear of forest animals, fear of getting fired (even though I couldn't work for another 10 years!), fear of losing my parents, etc. And would you ever guess that the cute little girl in the turtleneck and oversized sweater was fantasizing about her adorable 3-year-old brother's untimely end? Hmm. It is sort of cute (especially the spelling) but also a little morbid, don't you think? Did anybody else keep journals like this as a kid?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Our Winter, via Instagram


I'd like to raise my hands in a "Hallelujah" of thanks for camera phones. I'm just beginning to get the hang of mine (late bloomer, I know) and just in the nick of time! My Nikon was good for taking happy snaps of Severen when he was really little, but now that he is on the move I don't have a prayer of capturing much of anything with my fancy camera. Especially those elusive and *best* moments that last less than 15 seconds and seem to always happen when we are away from the house (like that last balloon shot). Even with my phone at arm's reach I still only manage to log a couple of photos of him a day. But the ones I am getting I really love. And let's be honest: I probably wouldn't take a photo of my kitchen counter, a self portrait in a car or baked goods with my Nikon, either.  Maybe I consider those shots to be unworthy of documentation somehow. Which is silly, really, because those things are LIFE . . . the kitchen counter, a ride in a car, warm cookies and a boy with a balloon.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Antique Russian rings

Art Nouveau "ribbon" ring
Russian Belle Epoque "plume" ring
Opal and diamond ring
Empress Maria cipher ring

These rings over at Romanov Russia have me in fits (images linked). I love ribbon/bow rings (you can see mine here) so the top one is pure perfection as far as I'm concerned. This company deals in Russian antiques and pre-WWI Fabergé, as well as rare items from the Russian Royal Family. I'll do another post later about their pendants and lockets. My recommendation: Put on your diapers before you visit their website.

Images courtesy of Romanov Russia

Monday, February 4, 2013

Tanager and more

Here are a few new pieces in the shop today. Images are {linked} Happy Monday!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Waking up

One of my favorite things to do is fetch Severen when he wakes up from his nap. Or like yesterday, I actually go in and wake him up if he is sleeping too late.

We all know that waking up from a nice slumber can be quite disorienting. I guess it just surprises me that children experience the same thing. It cracks me up because Severen's expressions seem so adult. I mean, I make most of these faces every morning myself! Here is what I imagine him thinking in these photos:

"Huh? Oh, hi Mama. Where am I? Did you eat my crackers? Did I just pee? Look at my clock! What are we doing now? Is it time to play? I'm reeeaaadady! Wait . . . just give me a minute."

It is especially adorable when he collapses forward back into his blankets for one last snuggle before standing up and getting up for good. Don't we all love to nuzzle our pillows for a couple extra seconds before pushing the button on the alarm?