I went skydiving! It was epic, incredible and pretty indescribable. Just watch the video…. ;)
My sister Leah Florence is the most incredible artist. She does these super original, creative and epic pieces that have been VERY quickly finding success in almost every place she goes to. She does these fabulous portraits that she pairs with stories from real life and real people. I’m very lucky that she did a piece on my little family that I’m excited to show it off. I seriously want to do a wall of her work at our house, especially the ones that highlight my family (parents, sisters, brother etc.) If you have ever thought it would be great to put up family pictures but wanted to do it in an original way, I would suggest commissioning her to do some artwork for you. Its incredible!
Georgiana and I had quite the lovely time at Restoration Oaks Ranch off the 101 fwy near Lompoc & Buelton. We were like kids in a candy store. Both of us were stuffing our faces with these little blue morsels of goodness and having fun while doing it. I wish I had a great blueberry recipe to go along with this post, but this entire bucket was WAXED once we got home and Dad got a hold of them. Super fun and we’ll definitely go again!
*I wrote this about a year ago and never posted it. I just found it and wanted to share. Amazing to read past thoughts… ;)
Like most Moms, I’m totally obsessed with my baby girl. I had no idea when I got pregnant with Georgiana that I was about to meet the most beautiful, amazing and special little girl on the planet. It really is true that your kids are the light of your life and Georgiana is no exception. How is it possible that every morning when she wakes up I just can’t believe that this perfect little soul is all mine? What you don’t know before you have a baby is that your heart is still not fully mature until you have a baby of your own. Then suddenly you heart magically grows twice the size and you feel its warmth beating steadily for your baby all day long. And the love you had for your husband grows stronger too as you see his full potential shine through in all he does as a father. My Grandpa Ozzy once said to me that when he see’s a young couple go from being childless to a family it gives him joy. It was because he felt that until you have kids the marriage relationship wasn’t truly fulfilled. I now know what he meant. Its not that I love Michael more now magically, but we have more love to share than we could ever have had before.
The innocents and perfection of a child is an exquisite and precious thing to be around on a daily basis. To see Georgiana’s eyes light up for the smallest things is so incredible to witness. Its like she’s showing me how amazing life is all around me that I haven’t noticed in awhile. Her love of dancing to whatever music she hears (including the bells chiming at the courthouse downtown) teaches me to dance with her as well. Having a child is amazing because if I was out at the courthouse dancing by myself people might think I’m homeless. But to have the excuse to dance at any moment while I’m with her gives me a great sense of freedom. To see her get excited about the smallest thing like a Squirmel (little fuzzy worm with a piece of thread attached to its nose) is sometimes too much to handle. She squeals with delight and even demands to snuggle with it during her nap. Her little teeth are slightly spaced apart and her blonde hair and her pointy ears makes her look like a little impish fairy elf. I just want to gobble her up on a minute by minute basis. At night after I’m exhausted and she has gone to bed, its usually only an hour or so before I miss her and have to go creepily stare at her while she sleeps. Sometimes when she wakes up when she isn’t suppose to I’m secretly happy so I can snuggle with her again. Its like a bonus.
After reading this you are probably thinking that I’m over glamorizing motherhood and that I’m conveniently not putting in the crazy moments. Well, I do have crazy moments. But in my opinion, anything that is worth it is hard. Losing weight is hard. Flossing your teeth regularly is hard. Working is hard. Marriage is hard. Motherhood is hard. But you know what is harder? Being a single, toothless, obese homeless person with no children. That’s REALLY hard. Children are the best.
This Mother’s Day I was able to host at my house. We had 8 guests total (including our little halfling) which warranted pulling the table away from the wall and inserting our table leaf. I was also excited because this unseasonable hot weather made my roses bloom extra early and I had a bumper crop that I could harvest for the table decorations. In addition, I used my Anthropologie paper table mats with some yellow napkins topped with a little morsel of chocolate for the party attendee’s. Georgiana was VERY excited about the ensuing party as you can see from her excitement in the below photo. Said photo also reveals a not so clean windows of which Georgiana regularly attends to putting finger prints on. But I’m sure you weren’t looking.
One of the forks is a drawing
My garden roses with their lovely pink tips. Oh the delight.
Whose says a cheese plate has to be boring? Cherries, mangoes, cheeses and fruit crackers. A colorful rainbow of deliciousness.
The woman of the night! Grandma Nell & Georgiana. Had I not been exhausted from all the decorating and cooking maybe I would have thought to take a generational shot. Oh well. There’s always next year. ;)
I’ve been waiting to write something like this at a time that I am in a moderate mood. Its easy to write a rant on bad day or recount the most magical experience on a good one. Recently I’ve been experiencing a two year old that not only has been doing the cutest things possible but has also has been testing her boundaries constantly. One minute I’m in complete elation from her ecstatic joy on the train at the zoo. The next I’m telling Michael he needs to moderate a conflict resolution meeting between myself and Georgiana due to her constant testing of my nerves. The thought of having more children is extremely difficult to wrap my brain around, especially the pregnancy part. So I have decided to document my thoughts on how to create a sane environment during these amazing yet challenging toddler years.
1. Structure. Having places to go and things to do that both myself and Georgiana enjoy is huge. Especially in the afternoon when the need to kill a solid 2-3 hours is the difference between a happy day and one that results in searching the internet for toddler boarding school. (thankfully NOT a true story but you get the idea)
2. Rules and Regulations. Georgiana LOVES to test boundaries. If I don’t have down what exactly she can and can’t do then she walks all over me. She knows full well when she is doing something she isn’t suppose to and also knows the repercussions. Being unemotional and not taking personal offense when she pulls a chunk of my hair out at the checkout line at the grocery store is important (sadly that is a true story). I think of myself as Ms. Stacey from Anne of Green Gables. A sweet and lovable teacher from the Victorian era who is still strict and exacting. I demand respect but it takes a lot of energy…
3. Help. HELP! I mean, get help when you need it. Having a babysitter or a few days at preschool is not only a welcome change for both myself and Georgiana but is the difference between us having meaningful time together and having just tiiiiiiime together (and lots of it). Remember when you’d have sleepovers as a kid and your friend stayed a little longer than you really wanted and before you knew it you were so sick of them you were making up excuses for them (or you) to leave? Sometimes a little distance does make the heart grow fonder. I’m not saying just check the kid into 24 hour daycare but maybe pre arrange a little time for you and him/her to have some fun apart. I’m finding it makes all the difference in the world
4. Get a hobby (aka a side-life). More than anything I need something in my life that I can grasp onto that vaguely reminds me of who I was BEFORE I had Georgiana. Being a Mom is the BEST but its also feels like it all about everyone else in your home but you. Between the needs of your spouse and kids its almost as if you are a shadow of person you once were doing tasks that you don’t care about but are somehow very necessary and take up all your time. Wiping butts, doing dishes, taking kids temperatures, reading “If you give a mouse a cookie” 1 million times and clocking hours on end at parks are some of the things that never realized would comprise ALL my time after having a baby. Of course I want my child to be healthy, happy and fed. But I’d like to also enjoy some of my own interests as well. Having a blog (oh, you thought I was just an avid cook not a Mom on the edge of having the baby blues?), a small business, volunteering for things you are passionate about can all make the difference between a Zombie Apocolypse Mom and a bright smiling one that people enjoy being with that isn’t constantly complaining about the depressing aspects of their life. Get a side-life and VOILA you will have a life again.
5. Schedule time to be with your spouse. I’ve found if you schedule time to be with your husband/wife other than working through the day to day minutia then you’ll be treat each other nicer and overall life will be easier. Scheduling time alone without the kid(s) is absolutely crucial for sanity in the home. I spend every waking second of Georgiana’s day figuring out how to make her happy and enjoy life. So when she goes to bed its only fair that I get some alone time with my husband where Georgiana is NOT invited. It gives Michael and I some time to just relax or talk about things we really need to go over but just hadn’t had the time during the day. It keeps us close and tight like the BFF’s we are. But when we don’t have time together for one reason or another I find we are bickering more, are not as kind and overall more vexed.
6. Take care of yourself. Go to the gym, get your hair done and above all take a shower and get ready! Its is beyond important to not lose a sense of yourself in all the surrounding chaos. There has been absolutely nothing better than getting random compliments from strangers on how cute Georgiana is AND that I look great too. I have worked my butt off (literally) to be able to go from flab to fab. For me, its less about the superficiality of looking decent but more that I look and feel myself. Carve out the time to be healthy and you will feel fabulous inside first and that will project outward.
7. Pray. If you’re not religious, meditate. I spend A LOT of time praying. I fall asleep every night praying. For me is about conversing with a higher power about the day. What did I do right? What did I do wrong? How can I solve this problem with Georgiana, Michael or a loved one or friend. Are we on the right track with our business, life and decision? I ask, I listen. Thinks get worked out in my head. I start to feel clear of anxiety and stress. And that’s when I fall into a blissful sleep….
8. Love your child and the rest will fall into place. Georgiana is an absolute doll. She is funny, charismatic and adorable. She is cunning, smart and full of life. What is there not to love about that!? When I’m burdened with days that are tedious I just need to think about what life would be like without her. And its TERRIBLY boring. She brings meaning, purpose and most of all love to my life that would be impossible to acquire in any other way.
9. Remember there is a future. I won’t be running after my sprinting child headed for the street forever. It won’t always take a 1/2 hour just to leave the house. Rashes, fevers and exploding diapers at the park won’t always be just around the corner for me. Take a breath. The hard things of this time period WILL end. So just don’t worry about them as much.
10. Relish in the NOW. The troubles of today will melt away and a whole new set will present themselves in the future. Be present in the magic that is all around and know that it won’t last forever. For better or worst.
It all started with Georgiana wanting to wash her hands in the kitchen sink. I got out a little step stool for her and that was it. She basically LOVES to stand on that thing. Well, since she was already up there I started to see if she wanted to help me cook which she did. That lead to her DEMANDING that we cook every morning (and wearing an apron!). So I decided that we can’t have baked goods lying around every day after our morning bake-off so we would have to start giving the stuff away. Since Easter is this weekend (tomorrow!) I thought a lovely pastel pink bunt cake would be a nice choice. And Georgiana did the finishing touches by drawing a little picture for her friends to serve as the gift tag. Happy Easter everyone! (The last two egg dying shots are just for fun. Doesn’t Georgiana look like she’s having the time of her life!? ;)
Easter Bunt-ey Cake
Ingredients: (based of Better Homes & Gardens “Easy day cake with coconut topping.“)
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup milk
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
dash of salt
1 recipe simple glaze (see below)
Grease two 6 inch bunt cake pans and set aside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a mixing bowl combine flour, sugar and baking powder. Add milk, butter, egg and vanilla. Beat on low speed until combined. Beat on medium speed for 1 minute. Pour batter into prepared pans.
Bake in oven for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely. Carefully turn over bunt cakes so that the mold comes out cleanly.
Pour glaze over cakes. If you like, sprinkle some zest on top for decoration. Enjoy!
Recipe Simple Glaze:
1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
3 tbs milk
Mix all ingredients together until combined. Add food coloring if desired.
(if you don’t have a cake base on hand you can always cut one out of a paper plate. ;)
Michael was asked to take a photo of a farmer for Eating Well Magazines cookbook, “Eating Well in Season.” They generously sent us a copy of the book and I got this recipe from there and have made it several times. The lemon and curry really brings out the flavors of the asparagus and this is a perfect spring time recipe. Enjoy!
2 tbs butter
2 tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon curry
zest and juice of one lemon
2 cups diced peeled potatoes
3 cups chicken broth
1 cup lite coconut milk
2 cups 1/2 inch pieces trimmed asparagus (about one bunch)
freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup creme fraiche
1/4 cup finely chopped scallions or fresh chives
Melt butter and oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring often, until golden. Stir in curry powder, lemon and potatoes and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir broth, coconut milk and asparagus. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, partially cover and continue to cook until the potatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.
Puree the soup with an immersion blender or a regular blender in batches until smooth. Season with salt & pepper. Taste and correct seasoning.
Whisk creme fraiche, lemon juice and scallions in a small bowl and garnish with a swirl.