Friday, February 26, 2010


Peeps, I'm about to go off the radar for a few.  New England has been hit by a crazy storm, and there is no power in Maine and probably won't be for days.  There are downed trees and power lines everywhere, stop lights aren't working, businesses are closed, and it is more or less a total debacle. 
We made a game-time decision to head back to Vermont where there is power and heat, but, oh yeah, also about 2 feet of snow.  Now we've got a fun-filled weekend of packing and dealing ahead of us, which should help us forget that fact that come Sunday, we still probably won't have power to return to in Maine.  In the meantime, the Baby is howling his head off trying to get to sleep because he is wondering where the heck we are, and the hub and I haven't showered since yesterday because no power=no water.  Why do we live in New England again?  Red Sox, hear me now: you'd better have one stellar season to make up for all this.  In any case, things are going to be a bit off for the next few days.  Please send me patience and strength.  I am off to pour a second glass of wine.  I'll report back when we land back in one piece.  Enjoy your electricity this weekend, my friends; it is a precious, precious thing.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Pura Vida

It is cold, blustery and rainy here today; a perfect time to dream of warmer places and times.  When it comes to travel daydreams, mine are somewhat endless.  Just the places I want to sneak off to with the husband alone could take a lifetime of frequent-flyer miles: Paris, the Amalfi Coast, Railay Beach in Thailand, Bali, Brasil, Anguilla and British Columbia all rank high on the list.  My father has spent a lot of time in Japan, and I'd love for our whole family to take a trip there with him as a guide (said trip would involve a criminal amount of sushi).  With our friends, I'd love to head to Mexico for a beachy, lazy kid-fest of a vacation: deep-sea fishing for the husband, sandcastles with Baby J and fish tacos and margaritas for the whole crew.  But today, I can't stop thinking about a chick vacation; namely one to Costa Rica. 
I'm pretty much the only person I know who hasn't been to Costa Rica and I am dying to check it out.  Awhile back, I was flipping through a magazine and saw the most perfect looking place to retreat with a bunch of my girls in this tropical paradise, and it will remain nestled in the back of my mind until I can one day make this trip a reality:
Pura Vida Adventures is a surf and yoga retreat for women in Malpais on the Pacfic Coast of Costa Rica. 
In the words of my girl Rachel Zoe, "I die."
Can you even imagine?
A typical day there involves yoga, breakfast and surf instruction in the morning, lunch and free time in the afternoon, and a sunset surf session, followed by an evening out.  Rinse and repeat.  In my daydream, the husband, boy and I would fly down there, meet up with friends, and get the menfolk situated in some jungle outpost a stone's throw away.  I'd then abscond with the ladies for a week of surf camp, after which we'd return to the fellas all limber and surf Betty'd out, ready to commence Costa Rican week two, wherein we'd continue to surf all day, showing off our mad skills that we had picked up between asanas and mojitos over at Pura Vida. 
This trip would also involve ridiculous amounts of Costa Rican coffee, fresh fish, and a deep, dark tan.
It's my daydream and I don't have to wear sunscreen in it!
Truth be told, I'm actually pretty happy to be hunkered down in Maine right now, even with this storm blowing away outside.  Still, I love to dream of the travels in our future and keep the wanderlust alive!
What's your dream getaway?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New Town = New Products

One fun thing about moving is that it presents a fabulous opportunity to change up your normal routine.  I am a total creature of habit/very brand-loyal shopper, and after a while in a given town at any given store, I'll just get stuck in a rut of purchasing the same products week after week and time after time.  Since our arrival in Maine, I've been branching out a bit encountering all sorts of fabulous new products to share:

I'm LOVING Udi's Granola.  They didn't carry this brand at our store in Vermont, but I've read about it on many health blogs, and first encountered the Hawaiian variety in my friends' pantry in Boston while we were house-sitting.  Oh my.  So very delish. "With ginger-toasted macadamias, pineapple, and coconut, you can feel the warm sunshine in each bite," says Udi's.  Indeed, I say.  Unfortunately, I couldn't find the Hawaiian variety at our store in Maine, so I picked up a bag of the Original, which has Thick-Cut Rolled Oats, Wildflower Honey, Raisins, Banana Chips, Walnuts, Cashews, Almonds, and Pistachios.  It is ridiculously delicious as well, and both of these varieties are not nearly has fat-laden as your usual granola.  I am loving this stuff sprinkled on my Oikos, or topping a bowl of oatmeal. I am totally an Udi's convert. 

Speaking of Oikos, I've also picked up a new variety of the good Greek stuff: Oikos Caramel Pure Pleasure. I got in a bad dessert habit while preggo that I have had a hard time breaking.  I am looking to redirect my sweet tooth to more constructive outlets, and this is one.  Hello, portion control:  each lil' cup 110 calories, no fat and 10 grams of protein, meaning it is a pretty satiating and harmless treat.  I toss in a few raspberries, and it is just a little bite of heaven.  If you are trying to reign in your sweet tooth (or not), give this stuff a try for sure.

In the non-food realm (get ready to utter a collective "Duh!" here), I must say, the best product ever is Your Local Library.  I have not been a library patron as an adult, and I have no idea why.  Well, that I am a sucker for a bookstore probably explains my lack of library love to some extent, but in this economy, you can't really just go out and buy every bestseller that tickles your fancy.  My sister was reading the new Elizabeth Gilbert book, "Committed: A Skeptic Makes Peace with Marriage", while she was here, and I was just itching to get my paws on it, but knew a Barnes and Noble bender was not in the cards.  Well, I just trotted myself down to the local library, got a FREE card, and had the book in my hands within 24 hours.  LOVE. IT.  I am going to become a total library rat.  FREE BOOKS, people!!!  What took me so long?  And I am only a chapter into "Committed", but if you loved "Eat, Pray, Love", get your buns to the library and grab this, because so far, it is fantastic.

Finally, this product isn't new to me, but using it is; when we first got our BOB Revolution Stroller, the weather was lovely, but Baby J was too little to ride in it.  When he grew big enough to BOB, winter had arrived in Vermont, and the iced-over roads and sub-zero wind chill made running outside rather un-baby-friendly.  Here in Maine, the weather is a balmy 38 degrees most days, and the roads are blissfully clean and dry, so I'm finally able to BOB it up, and let me tell you, it is fabulous.  Runners with babes, I highly recommend this stroller.  I was worried that running with a stroller would feel really cumbersome, but the design of the BOB makes it so easy to push, on the flats it actually feels like it is helping you more than slowing you down.  And, yes, pushing the extra 30 odd pounds up the hills is a little more challenging but it is so worth it, because: a) Free cross-training!  What's not to love about combo-ing an upper body workout with your run?, b) Could I feel more hardcore?  I think not, and c) Exercising with the baby is worth every bit of extra effort...whittling my bum back down to size while getting QT with and Vitamin D for Baby J?  Awesome. 
Here we have Kate Hudson (who the husband refers to as "the Yoko Ono of our generation", and who you'll probably never see on the blog again out of respect to him, but I can't help it, I love her!) rocking her BOB.  If it is good enough for Ryder, it is good enough for Baby J.
What's your favorite new find these days?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Veggie Chili Love

For the first time in a long time, I am starting to feel an abiding sense of well-being.  I've been sleeping like a log, we all seem to be simultaneously well, the ocean views here are soothing my soul, and now that we're settled for the time being, I feel a huge exhale, even with so many balls still in the air.  Part of why I feel so great, I believe, is because of the "real" weekend I just enjoyed start to finish.  No kamikazi drives, no packing or unpacking, no sick baby, no huge projects to undertake; just me and 3 of my favorite men on the planet (husband, baby and dad) enjoying the scenery and eachother's company in Maine. 

We slept.  We chilled.  We read the New York Times.  We continued to tie up loose ends to do with the move, but with a cup of tea at the kitchen table, not barrelling down the highway.  I ran 4.5 miles each day which felt AMAZING.  We met up with friends for lunch at the Ceres Bakery in Portsmouth (turkey sando on fresh oregano/parmesan bread w/ pesto mayo + a ton of veggies = yummers).  We got the hub new glasses (a year plus overdue, and they are HOT to boot, so score and score).  We ate Mexican take-out out of the container in front of the Olympics (aw yeah, boys' weekend!!!).  I also got to attend a bona fide ladies' night with rum drinks at the house of a good friend, and talk boys, careers, real estate, home decor and childbirth in the way that only a gaggle of gals can do.  Talk about soul feeding; mine feels full to the brim at the start of this week.  I can't stop smiling.
We capped it all off with a Sunday night homecoming from my mom and visit from one of my best friends from the law school years who was passing through on business.  Both of those ladies having vegetarian tendencies, I wanted to make a really fab and healthy veggie dinner that would also satisfy the menfolk and be an appealing lunch option for the husband to tote with him for lunch this week.  Hello, Veggie Chili Love. 

The Silver Palate New Basics cookbook has the best veggie chili recipe I know.  It isn't too beany and it is still recognizable as chili, which sometimes veggie chilis are not.  Also, it is chock full of fresh herbs and some fresh lemon juice, which really makes all the flavors pop.  The result is a bright, light, filling and energizing dish.  I baked cornbread to go with, and whipped up some guac to munch on first, which also did well dolloped atop the chili.  I highly recommend this chili recipe... try it before spring is upon us and you want nothing to do with a savory stew!  You won't regret it. 
Silver Palate New Basics Vegetable Chili
3/4 cup olive oil
2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 large red bell peppers, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice
35 oz. Italian plum tomatoes
1 1/2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut into 1-inch dice
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 cup canned dark red kidney beans, drained
1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained
1/2 cup chopped fresh dill
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1) Heat 1/2 cup of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the zucchini, and sauté until just tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer the zucchini to a large flameproof casserole or dutch oven.
2) Heat the remaining 1/4 cup oil in the skillet over low heat. Add the onions, garlic, and bell peppers. Sauté until just wilted, about 10 minutes. Transfer the mixture to the casserole, along with the oil remaining in the skillet.
3) Place the casserole over low heat. Add the canned tomatoes and their juice, the fresh tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, basil, oregano, pepper, salt, fennel seeds, and parsley. Cook, uncovered, stirring often, for 30 minutes.
4) Stir in the kidney beans, chick-peas, dill and lemon juice; cook for another 15 minutes. Stir well, and adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve with bowls of sour cream, grated cheese, and sliced scallions alongside.
Serves 8ish

Friday, February 19, 2010

Brilliant Brekkie Bars

This weekend, my mom and sister are off on a long train trip, and on the weekdays now, the hub is commuting an hour plus by bus in the morning.  All of this travel calls for portable, delicious breakfast/snack options to make the rides a little sweeter.  We had a bunch of fruit rounding the bend on the fruit platter, so I thought I'd try my hand at concocting some healthy, oat-y breakfast bars.
I looked at several different recipes on some of my fave food blogs such as 101 Cookbooks (Big Sur Power Bars looked appealing), and Smitten Kitchen (Raspberry Breakfast Bars sound amazing), but after a long, hard look at our pantry, I decided to just wing it and come up with my own recipe, based on what we had and what I felt like using.  The result?
SMJ's Fruitilicious Breakfast Bars
Bottom Layer
2 cups old-fashioned oats
3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
10 Tablespoons Earth Balance soy margarine, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Top Layer
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup  Earth Balance
Fruity Layer
3 cups mixed chopped fruit or berries (I used 1 smashed banana, 1 chopped banana, 1 chopped pear, 1/2 cup of raspberries, 1/2 cup of blueberries, and some random blackberries for good measure)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour or cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1) Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Grease a 9" x 13" pan.
2) Mix the bottom layer: in a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir in the melted Earth Balance and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Press this mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan with your fingers. (I also use the bottom of a stainless steel measuring cup to help make the crust flat and even.)
3) Next, mix the top layer: place the flour, brown sugar, and butter or vegetable oil sticks in a small bowl and use a fork to combine until the mixture resembles large crumbs. Set aside.
4) Mix up the fruitiness! Put the fruit in the bowl you mixed the bottom layer in and toss it with the vanilla extract, sugar and flour or cornstarch. Pour the fruit mixture over the bottom layer in the pan, spreading with a spatula to create an even layer.
5) Spread the top layer evenly over the fruit mixture.
6) Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden, and the edges are starting to brown.
7) Let the bars cool completely before cutting into sqaures. Store in a cool place or refrigerate.
The verdict?  Pretty.  Yummy. Sweet.  However, next time I'd like to figure out a way to use slightly less margarine and sugar to make the health profile a bit better.  I also don't necessarily think I'd use bananas again.  I had them on hand, needed to use them, and didn't feel like making banana bread, which is what lead me to the experiment in the first place, but I think their flavor was a bit cloying in this recipe.  Using only mixed berries or adding some stone fruits (peaches?) in would really push this recipe over the top.  This was a great first try though, and definitely recipe I'll make again and keep tweaking as more fruit comes into season.  In the meantime, one of these and a cup of good coffee sounds like a perfect weekend brekkie to me.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Special Sauce

I promised cooking.  I promised seafood.  I am here to deliver. Tonight was my Cali sister's last night in town, and I wanted to make something special for dinner.  To find just the thing, I turned to one of our family's favorite cookbooks, Rao's Cookbook: Over 100 Years of Italian Home Cooking
This cookbook is truly the best for classic, flawless Italian recipes.  Rao's also makes amazing jarred marinaras, but that is another story for another post.  This post is about the absolutely delicious Broiled Fillet of Sole I made this evening.  The secret to this light and flavorful dish is a lemon sauce that would be perfection on chicken as well.  Honestly, this is such a versatile and simple marinade, you should probably always have some in the fridge. You start by making the sauce:

Lemon Sauce
2 cups fresh lemon juice
1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste
Whisk together juice, oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Whisk or shake vigorously before using.
Then, on to the fish:
Broiled Fillet of Sole (serves 6)
6 large pieces fillet of sole, about 2 pounds
3 tablespoons Flavored Olive Oil (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons butter
Salt and pepper to taste
Paprika to taste
Approximately 1/2 cup dry white wine or chicken broth
1/4 cup Lemon Sauce
1. Preheat broiler.
2. Lightly brush each fillet with oil. Lay on a baking sheet with sides that will fit easily into the broiler. Dust with flour and sprinkle bread crumbs over one side of each fillet and dot with butter. Season with salt, pepper, and paprika.
3. Pour wine or broth and Lemon Sauce into the baking sheet to a depth of 1/8 inch and place under the broiler. Broil, without turning, for 4 to 5 minutes or until fish flakes easily when pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and serve.
Finally, one last thing.  If you don't have a great flavored olive oil on hand, you can whip up this one and use it in a variety of other recipes as well:
Flavored Olive Oil (makes 1 cup)
1 cup fine-quality olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
Heat oil in a small, heavy saucepan on medium-low heat. Add garlic and barely simmer until garlic is just beginning to brown. Remove and discard garlic. Pour oil into a clean container and reserve, at room temperature, to use as flavored oil for frying and sautéing.
The finished product:
So delish.  I served it with risotto and asparagus.
When not chopping garlic and discussing our current stations in life, my sister and I pushed the little guy around in a laundry basket for awhile:
Good stuff.
There's no place like home.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Sorry I've gone missing for a bit.  I've been right in the thick of the busiest part of this relocation project.  First, we had the mass exodus from Vermont to Maine.  Then, a brief but fabulous stint of housesitting in Boston.  Finally, we returned to Maine to settle in for the duration.  In the midst of all of this, the husband zipped up and back to Vermont in a flash to fetch forgotten documents and deal with miscellaneous moving related errands.  And me?  I had some magic to work.
Turning this:
Into this:
Turning this:
Into this:
Turning this (Mom's beautiful pottery bound to be turned into shards by curious baby hands):
Into this (totally baby friendly play area...artful aesthetic make room for stuffed lobster and football!):
We also had to deal with some of this:
Hang out with this guy:
And continue our faithfiul and joyful patronage of the Beach Pea Baking Company:
Say hello to my new fave:
Marinated baked tofu with Nappa cabbage, carrot slaw, cucumber & soy-miso dressing on baguette.
Besides all of this driving around New England, packing and unpacking and eating amazing sandwiches, I've also been doing such things as hanging out with my sisters, making enchiladas, running an unfathomable number of errands, working, shoveling snow, pondering the Boston real estate market, and celebrating the husband's birthday.  Whew.  Now we seem to be just about settled in to our new/temporary home, and I expect life to become far more routine next week.  I'll stop doing things like forgetting to give the baby his afternoon bottle, and start doing things like cooking delicious meals for my fam and blogging about them.  I'm very much looking forward to completing this exhale and starting the new normal.  Stay tuned!

Friday, February 12, 2010


Happy Friday!
I used the Random Integer Generator at to pick a Kombucha winner...
TeriLyn has some GT's freebies coming her way!
TeriLyn, send your info to and I will pop those right in the mail for you.

It's a big weekend at Casa SMJ (or virtual, roaming Casa SMJ, as it were):  we get to hang with some good friends on Saturday night, I'll see both of my sisters (such a rare treat), there could be a Vermont run in the cards for some crucial items we forgot last weekend (kicking ourselves repeatedly), and most importantly, it is the husband's birthday!  Happy Birthday, B! Given our nomadic lifestyle's not lending itself to baking projects + finally being in a place where there are actual trendy cupcake shops, I am thinking we need to hit one up and get him some birthday goodness.  Hoping to cook him something special for dinner, but I see no harm in cheating and taking out dessert.  Especially when it looks this good, and especially when red velvet cupcakes are an option.  Oh, yes.  Cream cheese frosting, you will be mine.

Thursday, February 11, 2010


Maybe it is because we watched 3 hours worth of Lost the other night, but I feel somewhat unmoored in time right now.  There is something about stepping out of my life, and living not quite on vacation, but not quite normally either, that is making my mind jump to the most bizarre places.  Life with a baby and life as a working mom in particular relies heavily on dogmatic routine.  Your success in the day to day hinges on your mastery of anticipating the next hour's needs and meeting them expediently: when/how will you shower, what will you wear, does everyone have food for the day, do you know what you are going to say in that 10am meeting, did you pack everything you need to run-shower-go back to work, what's for dinner, what needs attention in the house, etc., etc.  If you think too much beyond the needs of the next hour, you are doomed (or at least that is the most effective way I have found to balance this juggling act), so you focus manically on the here and now, in a way that 100 meditation retreats could never convince you to do as effectively. 

Now, all that routine has been thrown out the window.  Week to week, things will be different until we are settled again.  We'll be in Maine, Boston, back in Vermont.  Routine will be a thing that evolves and retreats instead of a daily constant.  This is exhilirating, refreshing, freeing, exciting; but it is also somewhat unhinging to a mind that has been so focused on the hour to hour for the last 10 months.  So, I find my thoughts leaping all over the place.  On a walk to get coffee, in the middle of the night, as I make block castles for the baby to topple, I feel like one of those time travelers on Lost.  A bright light, a bit of a boom and suddenly people, places and things I haven't thought about in years or decades come to the forefront of my mind, without rhyme or reason.   Social missteps from years ago appear and make me cringe as though they happened yesterday.  The annoying British guy we met traveling in Thailand who I haven't thought of in years... his full name pops into my head as I wait for the light to change.  A great suede jacket that I misplaced...where did it go, where is it now, is someone wearing it?  I want it back!   A grove of wild irises I camped in once on the California cost (the LOST Coast, actually...coincidence?) is suddenly at the top of my mind.  Why?
I think all of this rampant daydreaming is simply a result of being able to let go for the first time in a long time.  I've had such a white-knuckled grip on reality of late, that I just haven't made the time or space to let my mind wander.  What was at first unsettling now feels like a strange and beautiful gift.  To be the best mom, to be the best wife, to be, in fact, my old self, I have to be able to daydream; to dwell in that corner of my mind that isn't tethered to much of anything other than freedom and adventure.  But why does it feel so strangely terrifying to go there?  Am I worried that if I allow myself to ricochet between memories of the past and dreams of the future, that I'll somehow lose control of that hour by hour mantra that has held me together through the ridiculous rollercoaster ride of being a new mom?  Somewhere, there must be a balance.  How have you found yours?
On a much lighter and non-transcendental note, want some Kombucha?  It's yummy.
If so, leave a comment on yesterday's post, then go ponder the great unknown.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Kombucha Me

When things are topsy-turvy, as they have been of late, I crave things that restore a feeling of calm, balance and wellness to my system: a long, hot yoga class, a really silly comedy, a truly delicious glass of red.  In addition to Yogi Teas, soy lattes and perfectly made dirty martinis, I also seek out drinks that will act as elixirs in giving me energy or making my body feel more in tune and healthy.  GT's Kombucha is one of these power drinks.  
Just what is Kombucha, you ask?  I'll let GT's do the explaining:
Kombucha is alternately known as a Chinese tea, a plant, or a mushroom. But it's not really any of these. It's a living culture of beneficial microorganisms, and in Kombucha's case, the whole is infinitely greater than the sum of its parts! Our Kombucha is delicately cultured - some liken it to fermentation - for 30 days. During this period, essential nutrients form like active enzymes, viable probiotics, amino acids, antioxidants and polyphenols. All of these combine to create an elixir that immediately works with the body to restore balance and vitality. Kombucha has been used for hundreds of years throughout the world as a daily health tonic. The culture resembles a light brown, tough, gelatinous disk—and because it's a living, growing entity, it can regenerate and create new cultures with every batch. In fact, GT's Kombucha and Synergy are made from Kombucha cultures that are descendants of the original culture GT grew to create his first bottles.
Sounds funky, I know, but if you can get past the slightly tart flavor and the floating cultures, this is really tasty stuff, and it is miraculous how downing a bottle really can make you feel like you got a full night of sleep and went for a run, even if you did neither.  The Synergy Trilogy is my favorite flavor; it incorporates lemon, raspberry and ginger juices to produce a gorgeous color and unparalleled flavor.  Like Amazing Grass, GT's Kombucha is one of those things that creates addicts out of anyone who tries it.  The downfall?  It is a tad pricey (~$4/bottle, although I find that one bottle can be 2 servings).  However, GT's sent me some great coupons to give to readers who'd like to try their product! 
Want to try some of this magic brew?  Leave a comment below.  I'll pick a winner on Friday to receive a care package with coupons for 6 free Kombucha drinks!  You could try all kinds of different flavors...

Monday, February 8, 2010

If you have to cry, go outside.

Please forgive my blogging slacker-dom at the moment.  We are currently nomads, and like someone wandering in the desert, I don't have the time that I'd like to perch with a cup of tea and ponder things and write about 'em.  We are between homes and between lives at the moment, and settling into our halfway house of sorts in Maine.
As is usually the case in life, I have things working for me and things working against me at the moment.  Let's recap, shall we?
Helping me:
1) Husband = moving rock star.  Again, should lawyering not work out, he has a promising future as a barista/professional house organizer/mover.  Powerful combo.
2) My parents' house is a haven.  My mama's healthy, delicious cooking and the view of the ocean are making things right.
3) Kell on Earth.  Bravo TV, you are my rock.  I am feeling a touch bitchy at the moment, and watching this uberbitch in action is strangely soothing.  I'm also loving that her new book is called "If You Have to Cry, Go Outside." Tell it, sister.
4) Beach Pea Bakery.  Perfectly made espresso, check.  Warm baguette stuffed with caramelized onions, mushrooms and cheddar, check.  Thank you, Beach Pea, for making my morning bearable.
5) Lack of winter weather conditions.  We packed and loaded two car loads worth of things yesterday, drove 3 hours, and unloaded.  Had it been raining, snowing or wintry mixing, I would have totally lost my mind.  Instead, it is sunny and a toasty 30 degrees.  Thank you, Old Man Winter.  Thank you.
6) I'll be seeing both of my sisters and some of my closest girlfriends this week.  Just the thought of it makes me exhale a bit.  Thank God for my homegirls.
Hurting me:
1) Sick baby.  He's got a cold and he is ten kinds of fussy.  He's enjoying throwing food from his highchair, arching his back and crying, and sliming me with his little snots to express his displeasure.  Poor little dude. Have I mentioned that I've had it with being sick this winter?  And let me tell you how fun it was to take him to a strange pediatrician in a strange town this morning, sans proper medical records.  The receptionist looked at me like I was a truly unfit mother.  Awesome.
2) My neck.  I think I pulled a muscle in all the loading and unloading yesterday and I am in some serious pain today.  It is making everything just a little more difficult and trying every ounce of my patience.  This photo is what comes up when you do a Google image search for neck pain, and it really artfully illustrates how I am feeling today.  Just ouch.
3) The state of my personal belongings.  Some in Vermont, some in Maine, some in Boston.  Some in cars, some in boxes, many in Tupperware bins.  As such, Mac laptop = with me.  Mac powercord = in husband's car with him.  Sick baby = with me.  Sick baby's medical records = with husband.  Outlet covers = in Vermont.  Living room with literally 20 outlets in it = where I am hanging out with the baby and his tiny, curious fingers.  Sigh.  It will all come together again, it is just quite literally a pain in my neck right now.

Sometimes listing things is really helpful.  It wasn't until I sat down and took stock that it became so clear that the good outweighs the bad here 2 to 1, even with my neck spasming and the baby slowly turning into a human mucus ball.  Onward and upward!  And thanks for your patience with me in the meantime.  I'm off to channel my inner Kelly Cutrone and show the rest of the day who's boss.  If you have to cry, go outside.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sanity Saving

Sorry peeps.  I just don't have a lot of blog brilliance for you this week.  I am feeling a tad worked over.  I had a big allergy attack the other day, took too much medicine to fight it, and have felt kind of woozy and queasy ever since.  I miss the husband.  I have a big event at work this week.  We have to pack up most of our worldly possessions this weekend and that feels somewhat daunting.  I am tired of eating the dregs of the freezer.  I need a nap.  In this state, you can either go to the bad place, or focus on the positive.  I choose the latter, as among all these pitfalls to my week, there are so many things saving my sanity for which I am incredibly grateful.  Namely:
A perfect latte this morning (and how cool is this latte art?)
My mother-in-law, who has come to our rescue this week and is single-handedly keeping Baby J happy and me calm, cool and collected.  Thank you, MIL!
 She also has gotten me a supply of quality vino and Shelburne Farms Cheddar which combine to make a great stress reliever.
I am also grateful for the sunshine.  Even when it is 20 degrees out, if that bright ball is lighting up the sky, life just seems more manageable, doesn't it?
In my ideal world I would end this day by:
Getting a massage
Taking a really long bath
And ordering too much sushi
Alas, I will be working till late this evening, but at least I have my wing women to keep me company.  Sometimes, it is the little things that make all the difference.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dream Nesting

We are in full-on transition mode.  I am cooking for one this week, and trying to eat the last of the things in our freezer, so unless you are interested in hearing about different ways to eat Quorn patties or re-purpose vegetable soup, this is not my best week for recipes.  I am also about to be without a home of my own for a bit, but also on the brink of (hopefully) finding a great new home where we can sink in some roots (finally).  This means that in my down moments, all I can fantasize about is finding a beautiful space and making it ours.  I can't wait to move into a place where I know we'll stay for a bit, and pour a ton of love into it.  What better way to fuel these daydreams than the awesome shelter sites of the interwebs?  These are the visions dancing in my head:

I found most of these images on the fabulous blog you are my fave