Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Poor Milo

Whether it's kindness or dumbness, he just won't walk away.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Mad Men

In the absence of going out to restaurants, bars, plays, parties, movies or any other nighttime social engagement these past seven months, Andrew and I have been steadily cruising through TV series. I don't think we're different from most of the country in that respect: enjoying the comfort of home, while becoming obsessed with characters and plot lines, except we can only handle one—sometimes two if it's a Friday or Saturday, woot woot!—episodes at a time. (10pm bedtime.)

A couple months ago, we picked up Mad Men from about Season 4. Nearly every night this spring, we watched an episode, and I fell so deeply in love with that show. I remember when it first premiered, everyone was agog about the art direction. Then it was the sexism. Finally, the characters and societal commentary started resonating and the show just embedded itself in the hearts of fans.
This Sunday it all comes to a close. Like Six Feet Under and Sex and the City, it's a blow. I am going to miss these people! There have been all kinds of interviews, articles and roundups these past few weeks about it, but I especially loved this Flavorwire piece on feminist moments from the show. I only wish they had included a couple male perspectives to truly show that feminism isn't just a women's issue.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The sweet side of life

Man, it was a tough week. I've been sick for about 10 days now. Then Parker got her first fever and cold. And our nanny was out four days, sick. Needless to say, work didn't slow down (though thankfully it wasn't a super busy week and my boss was very gracious about me working from home a couple days. I hope the rest of the country catches up on flexible work arrangements very soon). None of us were sleeping great. It was tough.

But then my mom came to town and watched Parker for us.
My husband secretly bought and served us Levain cookies. (Seriously.)
And then there is this girl. This girl.

She is just magic. She's this happy little peanut who makes my every day brighter.

Needless to say, the week ended on a high note. It's beautiful here in Brooklyn. The streets and parks are alive with people. I've been surrounded by the love of my husband, daughter and mom for days, and have received amazing notes from friends everywhere. Best of all, I got to spend my first Mother's Day with my own mom and my baby girl.
I feel like ever since I had Parker, I'm especially prone to clichés. But I'm just so grateful for this beautiful life!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Another Amy

All the negative nellies will say she's crass and fat. But Amy Schumer is neither. She's brilliant and beautiful.

Any modern woman in America today must be concerned with the erosion of our rights, the persistence of inequality, and the laughable beauty standards women are held to. Amy gets it. And she makes even these sad, scary social statements funny. Hilarious.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Hola, amigos!

We took our first vacation with Parker this past week – to sunny Puerto Rico.

It was as much an experiment as it was a getaway. What would it be like sharing a hotel room with our little so-so sleeper? Would she like the pool? The sea’s waves? Sand between her toes? Would we all have to huddle under an umbrella so as to not scorch any skin, especially her pristine cheeks, thighs and arms?

All in all, it was successful. It had its challenging moments of course—the flights and naptime in particular. But man, it was fun spending so much time with her. 

Rolling around on the king-sized bed. Seeing her chubby little arms and legs exposed after being in feetie-pajamas all these months. Her constant smile and awe. She’s a little dreamboat.  

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Spring training

So here we are. Another couple weeks have passed. Work is busy-busy-busy. It's spring in Brooklyn. And Mlle. Parker is doing great.

Nearing 17 pounds, she has started eating solids. No surprise, she loves food and has not turned down the banana, avocado or sweet potato we've offered. It, and she, is hilarious. 
She really enjoyed my piece in the Times this week, 36 Hours on the Left Bank, and now wants to go to Paris. But first, we're going to warm up with a long weekend in Puerto Rico.

I miss writing and exercising. I miss going out for cocktails with friends. I miss being lazy and not having to think about things. But I am so in love and can't imagine life any other way.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Picnic in Provence

Elizabeth Bard. I can’t decide if she’s my idol or maybe my lucky talisman.

Years and years ago, before Paris ever happened, but after I had started a book proposal (then a guide to New York’s best sweets), I heard about Elizabeth’s book, Lunch in Paris. Then I met this guy at a New York house party, who would go on to be one of my best friends in Paris, who just so happened to be subletting his Canal Saint-Martin apartment from this American journalist/author… Elizabeth Bard. I took that to be my first omen.

Within a year, I was living in Paris, Lunch in Paris long since devoured and revered. My book proposal had evolved to include Paris and eventually I got to meet Elizabeth at one of her readings. As smart and stylish as expected, I was surprised to hear she was leaving Paris to head south to Provence.

In the years since, I’ve modestly kept up with Elizabeth’s life via Facebook and her blog. I (no doubt like all her other fans) wondered if and when the follow-up book would come. And then this past fall, I heard from Elizabeth: would I be interested in reading an advance copy of her sequel, Picnic in Provence?

It was perfect: on maternity leave, bonding with my little Sweet in PJs on the couch, while reading Elizabeth’s travails and triumphs in parenthood. For she had not only given birth to an adorable boy, but she and her husband, Gwendal, started a new business: an ice cream shop! In Provence! Yes, this is her life.

It’s a very thoughtful and thought-provoking account of parenthood. Many of us have certain visions of what it will be like to have a baby. The reality can be quite different, and Elizabeth unflinching, beautifully captures the struggles. She is tender and tough. She is real and honest. And she is so endearing throughout it all.

Beyond parenthood, Picnic in Provence is a fantastic journey through the south of France, an inspiration about following your heart and, of course, a delicious book about love, family and acclimation, complete with killer recipes. Anyone who read Lunch in Paris will love the change of scenery, the deeper story line and the new chapter of Elizabeth’s sweet life.

Monday, March 30, 2015

My Vegan Mondays

I did it! For the first time in about six months, I pulled off a Vegan Monday.

It was very intentional. It’s been on my mind for awhile. That and getting back to the gym. The gym will come. For now, I’ll savor the triumph of a day without meat and dairy.

Coffee with almond milk (and I have to say, after six months of using cream in my coffee, the almond milk combo no longer tastes so good, nor does regular milk. I’m ruined.)
Avocado toast

Arugula salad with walnuts and veg
Cliff Bar
Kind Bar
Scharffenberger dark chocolate

Crackers and hummus

I’m back in the swing of work (though it still stresses me out). Getting out for dates with friends again (I went to a performance tonight with a friend; thus the cracker dinner). Andrew and I have even gotten out, just the two of us, a handful of times and we’re starting to travel with Parker. I’m finally about halfway through the book that I started right before Parker was born and has since sat on my nightstand untouched. They’re all small things that make me feel good and “normal" again.

And meanwhile, there’s this little one…