Thursday, May 2, 2013
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
I don't like to use the word "supermom" for a whole long list of reasons that I won't bore you with here. But, if I ever change my mind, then I'd definitely use it to describe my friend Ashley whose refrigerator alone is just beyond anything I could ever hope to recreate in my own life. It's what I would imagine (in shape) Oprah's fridge looks like: chock full of necessities lined up nice and neat, but also pretty glass bowls of homemade, organic, healthy meals and snacks all ready to go like a tiny little cross-section of Whole Foods right in your own kitchen. Ashley has graciously answered all of my nine hundred questions about prepping healthy breakfasts and lunches for the week along with creating a dinner meal plan that doesn't make me want to order pizza at 5pm
I told my husband that I was in phase 1 of Ashley-fying our fridge, and he looked nervous. But so far it's given us both a small burst of happiness to open the fridge and actually be able to SEE what's in there without having to navigate through 50 bottles of salad dressing and old leftover cartons.
Here are some of her tips to get started:
- Clean and cut up produce right away and store it in clear containers. (this seems simple, but I cannot express how wonderful it's been to offer only fruit and vegetable snacks to my kids instead of "healthy" bars or crackers).
- Make big batches of steel cut oatmeal, quinoa, and whatever healthy grains you like on Sunday so that you have them for the week.
- Make small side salads and store them in small containers to send off with lunch or grab and be ready quickly at home.
- (this one I haven't tried yet) Make most of your dinners on Sunday and then just re-heat them in a 200 degree oven during the week. This takes an advanced level of planning that I haven't reached yet, but it sounds pretty fantastic to be able to serve something hot and delicious without having to go through the whole kitchen prep/clean up production on a week night.
Here is a list of Ashley's kitchen must haves:
Thank you Ashley!!!
How do you stay organized in the kitchen?
Monday, April 8, 2013
Tuesday, March 26, 2013
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
I'm completely smitten with Kiki and Coco in Paris by Nina Gruener. I learned about it the same way I learn about most of the coolest things I've ever learned about, via GOOP.com. I ordered it a few weeks ago, and it's been on constant nap-time and night-time story rotation. At first I felt a little silly about loving it so much because...did my kids really like it? Or was I just selfishly pushing my obsession with Paris and cute clothes on them?
Well, my 4 year old daughter asks to read it at every sleep and my 2 year old daughter was recently hanging halfway over her crib yelling "read more CooooooCoooooooooooooo!!!!" at 9:45pm. So if that's not a ringing endorsement, I don't know what is. Equal parts stylish and sentimental, this book made me want to cry but also immediately go shoe shopping. It's a simple, pretty scrapbook of a Parisian adventure starring a little girl (Kiki) and her doll (Coco). This book has also put these really cool dolls by Jess Brown on my radar, which I really could have done without because they are ungodly expensive. But reallllllly want to put one in an Easter basket. As I told my husband, "I want to get this crazily expensive doll and then give all the other toys and dolls away and just start from scratch with nothing but wooden and hand-made loveliness." (He nicely pretended to know what I was talking about, and then quickly changed the subject).
Back to the book: it's adorable; so please get it or check it out from your library or give it to someone you love as a present.
What books have you and your family enjoyed recently?
Monday, March 18, 2013
I did something really dumb yesterday: I rented Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel from iTunes for $4 when I should have just bought it for $15. Doh! I should've known I'd want to watch it more than once, but sometimes I'm not too smart about these things.
The title says it all, really: the eye has to travel. This documentary, which features several interviews with Vreeland, plus just about every important fashion insider from the 20th century, proves that Vreeland's diverse and eccentric interests: horse-racing, ballet, Russia (but not Russians) Marie Antoinette, Paris, Harlem, lesbians, costumes, Hollywood, the 1920s, the 1960s, Jackie Kennedy, Jack Nicholson and much (much) more contributed to her eccentric-yet-carefully cultivated aesthetic that ultimately revolutionized modern style.
The more I learn about creative people, the more I realize how much their eye absolutely has to travel. Not necessarily by plane, but by seeking out as many different kinds of inspiration as possible. Even if you're just creating a home and a life for yourself and your family, there is an incalculable benefit to immersing yourself in different interests; to stepping outside your comfort zone and listening to different kinds of music, eating different kinds of food, traveling, visiting museums, people watching, and reading books that might not initially appeal to you. There's really no better way- in fact, no way at all - to be creative without a diverse and constantly evolving set of curiosities.
I was also intrigued by what this film says about Vreeland's love of vulgarity, "She understood the genius of vulgarity," said one source. As a parent, I think about vulgarity a lot, and not usually in a loving way. (Jennifer Scott has a great article "Is Vulgar the New Normal?"from the Huffington Post). So I wonder what Vreeland would think about some of the nonsense that passes for entertainment today. I'm talking primarily about the so-called "reality" shows that do nothing for our minds and are the audio-video equivalent of soda. Would she find any genius in them? It's a slippery slope to put words in Diana Vreeland's mouth, but I'm willing to bet that she'd see the mastery in something like Lena Dunham's GIRLS (which features lots of nudity, bad language and almost cruelly awkward moments) while criticizing absolute schlocky snooze-fest that is the Bachelor and the Real Housewives franchises. There's something about tackiness, nudity, violence and bad language that can a meaningful counterpart if it's used in contrast to something wonderful. Life can't be all fresh flowers and Jane Austen, right? I would argue that GIRLS (which is an HBO drama, not a reality show, but stay with me anyway) is comedically dazzling and honest, while the above mentioned reality shows are just sort of tacky for the sake of being tacky and in the end...(gasp!)...boring and utterly unmemorable. In other words- not worth your eye's valuable travel.
Just some deep and somewhat cranky thoughts for your Monday.
Have you see The Eye Has to Travel? What did you think?
Thursday, March 7, 2013
I gave up shopping for Lent. (sad face).
It actually hasn't been that bad, but it's also not that much fun to troll the Internet looking for cool stuff when you know you can't buy any of it. Hence, the lack of "stuff" posts lately. However I am only human, and if I see something that is especially fantastic, I am obviously going to make a note of it.
The new Gwyneth cookbook comes out April 2nd which is very exciting because I actually cook a lot of dishes from her first cookbook and they are reliably tasty and healthy. The dress is exactly like one I had years ago but lost so I'm thrilled to find a replacement. The necklace is spendy but amazing and reminds me of one that my mom always used to wear.The clutch...oh...the clutch. It's from Gap, it's $30, and comes in a bunch of other cute colors; it's been the hardest to resist during my Lenten observance. I'd wear those sandals every day with every outfit if they were to somehow appear in my closet, and the lash enhancer is my own small way of resisting Botox. See how long and pretty my eyelashes are? You can barely see my wrinkles, right??
What are you shopping for lately?