Cal-i-forn-ia

We got to go home for four beautiful days to see our family and friends in California!  We spent our first 2 days in Orange County doing just family things.  Our favorite activity turned out to be playing with Ethan, which he was JUST fine with.  We headed to the beach and explored the tide pools, climbed rocks and tried our best to avoid kelp.

Weather’s so perfect in California.  If nothing else the trip back home gave us some amazing perspective on how much we should enjoy our time in New York and all it’s differences–like seasons.  Extreme hot and cold just don’t exist in California, so as fall moves in we’ll be sure to relish it (especially after having four fabulous days of of perfect 73.)

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Greece.

I am dreaming of Greece.  I’ve been wanting to go for ages, and despite having been away for far too many things recently, it still feels as though I’ve managed to avoid a vacation entirely.  School starts in just a few days and I’m already dreading it, which is sad, because I want to be excited.  Perhaps it will just take a bit to set in–the excitement.

In the meantime, I’ll try to sooth myself with images of beautiful Greece, a simple island and time in the sun (without getting wrinkles) and the illusion that some how I’d be able to coax Kitty Viv to accompany us without being terrified and peeing on herself in transit.

I’d drink mimosas and white wine mixed with lemonade on this patio while spending hours reading, stopping only to eat tabooli with fresh mint, arrange flowers and wear sandals to an bountiful outdoor market with gorgeous, shimmering fruit.  At night after simple dinners I’d make in the spacious kitchen I’d learn to make baklava, take long baths and sleep…

Oh summer.  It’s always so hard to say goodbye, but I can feel it fading away!  Seasons are so much more harsh than I’d remembered.all images from here.

Flip, Flip, Flip-a-delphia

Taste off.  As a non-meat-eater, I didn’t quite share Moses’ enthusiasm for Philly Cheese Steaks on our recent trip to Pennsylvania.  His dream?  To try the two “places,” Pats and Ginos, side by side.  While I had no desire to indulge myself, I’m proud I helped a dream be realized, standing in line at Pats, then Ginos, so Moses could try both sandwiches.  Just by look and smell I can say with confidence the winner is Pats all the way.

Because my mama was visiting NYC for so long we decided to take her on an east coast road trip via zip car mini called Merick.  She was a little stumped as to why we chose Philly, but I’d always wanted to see it and I wasn’t disappointed.  It’s pretty, quaint and we had a really, really fun weekend.

Lucky for us, my pal Christine graciously agreed to spend the weekend with us and helped keep my mom entertained and seemed to enjoy herself simultaneously.  We saw some sights, had an amazing dinner at Mercado, where I had some of the best food ever (skate, emmmmm) and had some fabulous beers at historical bars…followed by a lovely brunch the next morning with all my favorite people at Honey’s Sit and Eat.  It’s funny how you can suddenly have those epiphanies–how lucky you are to have everyone you love right there beside you.

It’s on the wrong side.

I say this because it is Moses’ summary on New York beaches.  When anyone asks how they are or if we like them he just shrugs and says “it’s on the wrong side.”  It pretty much encapsulates his entire opinion on the east coast in general, you might say.

When I lived her before I never once went to the beach.  Sad, huh?  This time I decided I have to experience ALL of New York, so on a sweltering hot day the far Rockaways it was!  My best pal Sus joined us, and together we navigated trains (it’s less intuitive than one might think.  There are two C trains?  They end in different spots?  I know…)

In the end we arrived in once piece, and I must say, “wrong side” or not, the water in New England is lovely and warm and sans some of the squeal-inducing (even Moses) kelp and seaweed we’ve grown so accustom to in California.  I actually swam.  I never swim.

I also had my “bandeau” top clobbered by the ocean not once but twice.  My mother would say that serves me right for wearing a stupid swimsuit.  I can’t really disagree.  When I wasn’t showing my boobs to a guy swimming around in a t-shirt while Moses screamed at me to pull my top back up, I really enjoyed the day, including beers and watermelon on a random cul de sac checkers table.  A lovely New York adaptation.

Millions of Peaches.

I mentioned my mother was here for 9 days.  Because we had so long with her in her in the city we opted to spend a weekend somewhere new.  We have a friend that works in Philly and makes the commute almost daily, so I was curious about it.  On route Moses found a peach farm with a hayride and peach picking option, so off we went.  Trouble was, my mother (who lives in Missouri, where anyone can pick pretty much anything anytime) wasn’t so into the idea of farming it up on her time in the big city.  So, she read a book for a half and hour while WE took a hayride and picked peaches till our heart’s content.

Lessons learned:

Too much of anything makes it seem way less wonderful (about six peaches in I decided peaches aren’t as wonderful as I always thought)

I like white peaches better than yellow

Pretty butterflies are usually attracted to rotting fruit.  Sad but true.

Either way, we had a terrific time.  Me, Moses and our pal Christine did a little Green Acres time and ended up with 3 bags of goodies…turns out I don’t have enough friends in the WORLD for 3 pages of peaches worth of pies.

Oh Penelope

August has been a chaotic month.  Between a visit from my mother, a new job and a trip back home to California I decided the best option was to take a few weeks off from blogging.  In the midst of my hiatus so many things happened!

One of my favorites is my friends Sean and Hollie had their baby!  Penelope is now a part of our Brooklyn life, tiny fingers, hair bows and all.  As the best-dressed-baby on the Eastern coast (I knew she would be before she was even born), I scoured my brain for options on baby shower gifts when little Penny was still just a (very large) baby bump in her momma’s tummy.

In the end I made some one-sies using vintage ribbons I found at one of my favorite spots, Tinsel Trading Company.  While it wasn’t cheaper, it felt more authentic than buying something off the rack and gave me an opportunity to learn to sew a little…A special thanks to Lisa for letting me use not only her machine but also her expertise (and for making me a delicious dinner!).

And, in case you didn’t know, I LOVE wrapping gifts.  Apparently this interest is genetic–my mother’s an avid gift wrapper, too.  I try to avoid typical wrapping prints.  My dream is to one day have rolls of vintage wallpaper to use with twine.  A girl can dream…

Kitty Viv obviously helped, and I also made a quiche for the shower, which is one of my all time favorite recipes to make AND the first dish I ever mastered.  While studying in France my “Madame” (mother-away-from-home) taught me to make a perfect French quiche.  While the original featured bacon, I opt for a veggie version using caramelized onion, mushroom and swiss cheese in a home made crust.  Yum.