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Little Dates

    4 YEARS.

    Location: LITTLE ITALY

    We celebrated 4 years of being married today! We actually “officially” celebrated a few days ago because of Miles’ work schedule, and we went out to dinner at a restaurant I had been wanting to try for some time. The restaurant was Herb & Wood in Little Italy and it was SO good. We had a beet salad and whipped eggplant hummus with pita bread to start, and then for dinner I tried their homemade pasta and Miles went all out ordering an escargot & bone marrow pizza! I could barely stand to watch him eat it (it truly was a vegetarian’s worst nightmare!). Miles said his new barometer on life is the “exclusivity factor,” meaning how exclusive something is determines what you’re getting out of life–I’ll stick with homemade pasta, yes, that is exclusive enough for me. Read more

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    SUMMER LOVIN’

    best summer activities for kids best summer activities for kids best summer activities for kidsEver since we’ve moved back to San Diego I want to be outside all. the. time. The weather where we live is just too good. We are in the middle of a huge heat/humidity wave, so going out between 12-4 isn’t always ideal, but it’s always worth a shot. Yesterday I decided to brave the day and take the boys downtown to the museum and a splash pad. We visited The New Children’s museum in the heart of San Diego proper, and it was a super educational and fun outing, although I should note I was sweating through my shirt nearly the entire time we were there…& with Harlow wanting to nurse for most of the day, I was ready to get to the splash pad sooner than Luca was. Let’s just say I was serving up a salty helping of milk.

    best summer activities for kidsbest summer activities for kids best summer activities for kids best summer activities for kidsWe molded some clay, Luca helped paint an old carriage, and we danced our hearts out in the dance box exhibit. I loved how interactive everything was–maybe because I’ve always been a hands on learner, and everything at this particular museum appealed to my tactile nature. It truly amazed me how Lu would walk up to each exhibit and just figure things out for himself. I just let him lead the way, and I would follow behind. I was a bystander of childhood imagination. It was beautiful. He also lead me to the elevator once he was just as sweaty as I was from dancing. Let me tell you, the kid has moves and he don’t care who knows it! His carefree spirit and curious heart really makes me feel like I’m doing a good job as a mom. Isn’t it funny how we are always trying to reaffirm to ourselves that we are doing well as parents? If only we had that same type of approach to every other area of our lives. We would never be content! But it’s good, these are good things to engulf yourself in. I always try to parent how I would want to be parented. As a child, I was always free to explore myself and my surroundings creatively, maybe that’s what nurtured my writing skills? Anyhow, I found it so encouraging in forming my independence and decision-making abilities. I can already see Lu gaining those same principals and understandings, and there is nothing more rewarding than watching him find those significant things in his own way. Sappy, sappy over here, aren’t we?!

    best summer activities for kids best summer activities for kidsAnd Mr. Harlow. He is coming out of his little shell day by day, and his personality is just sprouting out of him! I’m in love.

    best summer activities for kidsbest summer activities for kidsThank you for letting me be here to pour my very full heart out onto your computer screen, that feels really good too. So, after leaving the museum we headed down to the Harbor and we drove right past the Star of India, which Luca proclaimed, “Mama, a pirate ship! A pirate ship! I’ve never seen one of those before!” So I went with it, and started going on about where I think the treasure is hidden and how it’s most likely the “black pearl.” “But what’s the black pearl doing in New York City mama?” Luca saw big buildings downtown and automatically assumed we were in NYC, touché Luca, touché. We’ll go with qualitative reasoning on that one. We parked and walked to Waterfront Park, which to be fair, has been said to be San Diego’s Central Park…It’s not the same, not even close, but if I can’t afford New York City, I’ll take what I can get here. I watched Luca splash around in the “pond” (it’s a centimeter deep you guys), and then the child in me said screw it, and I rolled up my jeans and splashed around in it too. That was the highlight of my, and most likely Luca’s day too. It felt so good to jump around barefooted along some giant puddle. Freeing is the only word I could come up with. I think it is so important for your children to see you at eye level sometimes, it’s good for them to realize we are just as imaginative and playful as them, but also good for ourselves to remember what it is like to be green in the way of the world. These are lessons I’m learning all the time.

    We played hard, and we forgot we were even home, it felt too much like a vacation, and that is when I knew we had made the right decision in moving here. It felt fast and too spontaneous at first, and I wasn’t sure what things would feel like for me once we were settled and the initial shock of moving wore down. I worried a lot about my anxiety and my overall mental health (harsh change, good or bad, is always something that shakes up the balance of my mind’s chemistry, and so I knew to be on the look out for signs). But, feeling like I was on vacation with my two boys in the realm of our own city was so assuring, and just so good for the soul. Home has really taken on a new meaning for me as I age, and I can say that a house is where you live, but a home is who you live with. Home has become my people, Miles, Luca, and Harlow. As long as we are together I am home.

    best summer activities for kids best summer activities for kids best summer activities for kidsbest summer activities for kids best summer activities for kidsbest summer activities for kids

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    RECENT DELIGHTS OF EVERYDAY LIFE.

    ^^pregnancy cravings. my copycat avocado toast done up just like cafe gitane.^^

    LAP LOOM, WEAVING, FRUIT OF THE LOOM^^learning to weave on my lap loom. i finally finished this little wall tapestry after many hours of total commitment.^^

    SKATEBOARDING, LITTLE SHREDDER^^our little shredder in the making. we took lu to the skatepark to get him comfortable on his board and to watch his little eyes grow and grow watching all the other skaters do their thing. mostly lu and i were just gaga over watching miles and his flawless 360 kick flips.^^

    PICKING PAINT COLORS^^picking paint colors for the boys’ shared nursery! i know they all look the same, but i swear they are each different in their own way. we’re now down to two colors, and it’s almost time to paint. the baby business is becoming real around these parts!^^

    TRIPS TO IKEA^^and who could discredit a lovely little trip to ikea where we people watched, came up on some hot deals (although probably overspent), and for once avoided the swedish fish (which are by the way not so swedish & made in the USA–the trickery of that place…)^^

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    HALLOWEEN HAPPENINGS.

    fall holidays and outfits

    fall holidays and outfits

    happy november! i hope everyone had a safe and sweet halloween! i can’t say we did anything crazy exciting, but we did clean out our garage (such a pain, but so worth it), and we did a quick lap around the block trick or treating with lu. there was such a difference between last year and this. lu was so excited to collect candy door to door and didn’t mind walking one bit. last year, he didn’t really understand the concept and i think we maybe only hit like three houses. it’s amazing to see him grow up before my very eyes. we do all sorts of fun things with him at this age. he loves books wholeheartedly so we took him to the halloween story time event at the land of nod near us, and although he wasn’t much into sitting with legs criss-crossed on the rug, he was definitely into all the neat toys and crafts they had set up. it was a cute event, and i know we’ll be attending another one soon. he also participated in the halloween parade at his day care where we saw countless cute costumes on little ones, although i was pretty bias towards my mickey mouse.

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    ^^^ i tried hard to be the block favorite with izze sodas and reese’s peanut butter cups^^^

    back to our halloween, i’m just so exhausted at this stage in my pregnancy (second trimester energy, where ya at??!) i wasn’t sure what i wanted to do about dinner, i thought about throwing in the towel and just picking something up, but the better part of me wanted to make dinner for my family on such a fun little holiday. i remembered we recently purchased a crock-pot and not a minute sooner did i google a recipe for a crock-pot tortilla soup. i came across this one & it definitely deserves entry into my recipe box. all i had to do was chop an onion, a couple cloves of garlic, and a few jalapeños and everything else i just tossed in the pot and set it to low. i couldn’t believe how delicious it came out considering how little effort was put in. we topped ours with cheese, onion, tortilla strips, and lime, although i’m sure it would be delicious with sour cream or greek yogurt too. another note on the subject, i omitted the chicken being as we’re vegetarian & also subbed out the chicken broth with vegetable broth (i used the vegetable broth with sodium in it being as veggie broth tends to be much blander than a chicken broth typically is–this way you don’t sacrifice any flavor from the substitution). the soup makes a hearty amount as well, so be prepared for leftovers which only get better with time. do you have any go to vegetarian recipes you love cooking in your crock-pot? i’d love to experiment more with mine!

    anyway, hope you all had a great last few days of october, and i hope your buckets were filled with enough candy to last you until next year!

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    DATE NIGHT, SNOW CONES, & WHY I LOVE MY HUSBAND

    hello friends! it’s been some time, but last week was filled with a plethora of non ideal events and i was totally consumed by what was happening. i’ll get into a little bit of that next time, but i don’t entirely feel like reliving it, so i hope you’ll understand my brevity. also, i apologize for the quality of the photos, the lighting, although romantic, was not ideal for the iPhone and i had forgotten my good camera at home (bad blogger! i know). anyhow, miles and i went on a long overdue date with a few friends of ours, jake and abby. we decided to try a restaurant in west hollywood i had heard about on the local news called gracias madre. if we’re being honest here, i really wanted to go because i heard they had adult snow cones. i don’t even drink, but i made an exception for this occasion because, well, i love snow cones. if you are ever in the L.A. area, you must try “the quinceañera” at gracias madre. my theory on why it’s called “the quinceañera” is because you it makes you giggle like a fifteen year old and it calls for a celebration. even if you aren’t celebrating, a few of these and you’ll be celebrating something. a boozy snow cone, i mean, come on! it just doesn’t get better than that, especially when you’ve had the week i’ve had. i had only about one and a half (so a quinceñera and a quince), but that was about all i needed to drift away, just ask my husband, i was floating on cloud nine for the rest of the night. alcohol isn’t really my thing–i don’t judge anyone who likes to drink, it’s just something i’ve let go over the years. while, for me, alcohol is a habit of the past, sometimes you have to let loose a little, especially with all the chaos and calamity in this crazy life, and if there is ever an excuse to let loose, let a boozy snow cone be your cause. plain and simple. 

    anyway, to wrap up this extremely long post about a snow cone, dinner and the food was amazing (it’s vegan mexican food) so you know my veggie-self loved every bite. miles (who didn’t order the waitresses suggestion like i did), said he liked our other vegan hang out (seabird’s in orange county) better, but i’d say they are two different restaurants, but equally delicious. maybe the snow cones helped?! miles and i have both been running around like chickens with our heads cut off, and when there is stress like that in your life,  it tends to spill into your relationship. the best analogy i can think of is marriage being like a garden. you have to water your plants or they will slowly start to shrivel up– overwater them, and they will drown. there has to be a happy medium, with lots of sunlight and, of course, lots and lots of love. marriage, like a garden, requires a lot of attention as well as continuous work. you have to manicure your hedges and pull out all the weeds. the work you put in, determines what you will get out of it.

    miles read an article the other day which explained why so many marriages fail. and to my surprise, it was because each party becomes self-consumed and no longer yearns to learn  about and become involved in the interests of the other. it’s true what they say, “the family that ________ together stays together” (insert interest in blank). when one person feels as though they aren’t being heard or tended to, they begin to feel insignificant. their interests feel boring and that seems to be when people begin to grow apart or look for what they’re lacking elsewhere. this was so eye opening for me. when i sat and really reflected on what interests of miles i’ve really taken part in lately, my list was looking grim & that made me sad. miles likes to birdwatch (oh yes, you read that right. he likes to birdwatch. he bird watches like that old man at the park staring out into the abyss–the one you think is a total lurker/weirdo–yeah, that’s my husband). anyway, he gets all into buying special feed to reel in some exotic species & gets a total kick out of watching them eat. he’s the peeping tom of birds. he once named a couple of the regulars neiman & markus. i’ll walk into the kitchen and catch him staring through a crack in the blinds, not blinking, with a huge grin draped across his face. then, i’ll go in for a peep and the sucker flies off, and i’m left with my husband totally annoyed at my lack of disguise. to be honest with you, i couldn’t care less about birds and the watching of them, but my husband loves birds and the entirety of the bird watching experience, and so i’m taking an oath in which i will do my absolute best to be a little more engaged (with the watching & the birds & being more incognito) and i’ll be more mindful in showing some interest in his interests.

    i love that miles longs to learn, and i love that he shares these things with me–that he cares enough to read articles about how relationships thrive, and i love that i chose to make this intelligent man my husband. anyway, since miles’ reading & my reflection of the article, i’ve felt like both of us are really taking it upon ourselves to really try and engage in each others enjoyments. it feels good to feel heard, and even better to feel like something you love is being appreciated by someone you admire. whatever it is that’s been happening, it’s been working. and i think marriage is that way. I think it is a constant ebb and flow of ups and downs. and in this great companionship, you’ll find yourself falling in love over and over and over again, for different reasons, at different times…and in this season of our lives, i’m falling in love all over again. this candid photo of us, reminds me of that. this is what survival looks like, what hard work and an abundance of love look like. and i like it.

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    EASY LIKE SUNDAY MORNING

     ah…more than midway through february. i’m not going to even ask where it went. is there some magical time curse that occurs to you once you give birth? when your pregnant, or at least when i was pregnant, it felt like time would just stop. i know must people count down weeks, but i used to literally count down the days of the weeks, one by one, until i were one week further along. i couldn’t wait for my pregnancy to end. it felt like an entire lifetime bottled up into nine months. then in the blink of an eye, in the brief moments between one big breath & one last push, time actually stops. they set that little baby on your chest and all you can think about is how this indubitably is the happiest moment of your life. you wish you could jar up that moment forever and relive it over & over & over again. and as time resumes, it begins traveling faster than ever. that’s what these photos remind me of, time-traveling. you were just a baby having a baby, and now you have a toddler on your hands. mines only about to turn two, tack on a five to that two & i can only imagine how my dad must feel. i wish i were a sponge sometimes, wish i could soak it all up and not miss a beat, you know? no sleep for the rad, right? well, i’m quickly losing cool points *yawn*

    sundays seem to always come and go too fast. but as of right now, everything feels like it’s falling into place just right even if we are in fast-forward mode. i’m on to something, i think. something i cannot share quite yet, but to quote the fabulous lourde, i’m “never not chasing a million things i want,” and that’s how it should be.

    heres to more many more adventures to come.

    ooooh & also to the oscars. i cannot wait to see NPH host. also, i rented “boyhood” and found myself pleasantly surprised. (research it a bit before you watch it–it was a 12 year project, and an interesting story). i’ll bet it wins something.

    signing off…

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