Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sleepless in Michigan

Life has been keeping me on my toes lately. I’m not even sure what does it most of the time. But yesterday, I knew why. For some reason my sweet little 10 month old decided that morning naps are for babies. Mind you that in his opinion, reaching 10 months is graduation into toddlerhood. His eyes were red and watery, and he blinked very slowly, as if any moment he was going to collapse into a deep sleep. But he didn’t. I finally had to coax him into napping for a couple hours in the afternoon with me, but even that was fraught with with fitful kicking and crying.

It was an exhausting day, but the sweet little guy did oblige me quite willingly (and quickly!) when I put him to bed at 8 p.m. last night. He snuggled up and slept hard until 7 a.m.! I couldn’t even believe it when I woke up this morning and he hadn’t stirred. Thank you, God! Now why didn’t I go to bed at 8 p.m.? Biggest mistake of the day right there. It was a good night, though. Cody took care of Sebastian and made beer bread yesterday evening while I went to the grocery, and later Cody talked to his parents on Facetime while I listened in and washed dishes. And since I was finally able to get some more stain stick, I spent about 30 minutes sitting on the floor leaned up against our “laundry closet” stain sticking a mountain of Seb’s clothes that have been waiting for a chance at redemption. We capped off the night with an episode of Ugly Betty while we peeled apples to put in the slow-cooker for Seb’s breakfasts.

And in spite of it all, we managed to have this for dinner. God is good. And my mom is awesome because she sent this beef up with my brother a few days ago. It was so easy to make. I browned the beef, tossed some potatoes, onions and garlic with a little olive oil and water and then whatever spices you want. I would recommend using carrots, too, if you have them.

It was quite a day, but my mom is coming tomorrow to watch Sebastian for the weekend. Cody and I are skipping town!

Monday, March 28, 2011

At home.

A week ago today, our dear baby learned to pull himself up to things! The first time he accomplished this feat, he steadied himself and then looked over at me with the biggest grin, as if to say, "Look at me mom!" It was the sweetest thing. I am so blessed to be able to see his "firsts."

And tonight, Cody grilled steaks from my parents—this is the good stuff—like organic grass-fed! I made these potatos (what are they called again, Anna G.?) that my friend told me about and then some green beans that my mom canned from her garden. It was heaven.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Fashion—Then & Now

left  |  right

I love vintage photos. I find the black and white ones to be particularly strong, captivating and mysterious. There is a reason many remark that black and white photos are timeless. They seem to blur the lines of an era and evoke something we each have experienced, seen, or in this case, worn.

top  |  bottom

left  |  right

left  |  right

Friday Food—Cinnamon Sugar Bread


Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread. I'll admit, I wasn't over the moon about this one, but I do think that it has loads of potential.

Two reasons:

1) I think I baked it too long. Maybe I took the directions too much to heart when it emphasized that you want it to be really brown or else it will be too doughy in the center. Really, it just needed to be a nice golden brown, and wouldn't have lost all it's moistness—like it did.

2) The browned butter. To me it just tasted too intense, and gave it a more fast-food-greasy flavor.

Nevertheless, I'm still blogging about this recipe because I think if you avoid browning the butter and over-baking the bread, it will be very very tasty. Especially if you drizzle it with icing. I think it's a recipe worth trying, and one I plan to make again.

[Diana, thanks for the link!]

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

We have a hallway?

Daddy showed Sebastian that we have a hallway, not knowing that I was deliberately keeping it a secret. Well, the secret is out, and little man likes to frequent it daily, much to my dismay. It looks like I need to start packing my "closet"!

P.S. Cool spring cleaning tips from Black Eiffel.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Paris on the Prairie"

a.k.a. Chicago.

We traveled there this weekend, stopped in Indiana to visit some amazing friends and their 3 adorable children, and had a fabulous time. Seb was a perfect angel, hardly complaining when he went two days with only brief 30 minute naps. He was such a trooper.

We arrived in Chicago late Friday night, so not much happened besides reuniting with our long lost housemates, and devouring a bag of lime chips.

Saturday brought with it waffles made with pancake mix (delicious), a trip to The Field Museum to see their special exhibit on The Horse, and back to the place we were staying for a little rest for Sebastian and lunch for all.  Outing number two consisted of a little shopping at Zara, and Starbucks.

With Sue. Cody is hoping to inspire a love of dinosaurs in our young son. 

Our friend's sister (whom we stayed with) offered to watch Sebastian that evening, so the four of us walked to a fabulous little Italian restaurant called Scoozi. The food was incredible, bread with the most incredible olive oil, caprese and risotto were on my list and they did not disappoint. After that we took a taxi to the Hancock Building, and were delighted to be seated at a cozy little table right next to the window—on the 96th floor! We spent the rest of the evening trying to find the places we had been earlier in the day and enjoyed some delcious Tiramisu and chocolate port. I was stunned by how delicious it was. Port is now on my list of favorites.

Have you traveled anywhere recently? Trips like this don't happen very often for us, but it was memorable and so fun to experience a little bit of the city with a couple of dear friends. We miss you guys!

"I just wish I could be your morning bagel so I could get caught between your teeth."

Just a few things I've been loving lately.

I. Ugly Betty. Cody and I are working through the series and we can't stop laughing. "I just wish I could be your morning bagel so I could get caught between your teeth."

II. Hair Tutorials. Even though they don't apply to me anymore.

III. Pinterest.

IV. The best jeans ever. After seeing them on two of my friends, I had to check them out. I'm in love.

V. Pretty stuffed animals. One. Two.

VI. BABIES ARE AWESOME. I am happy to report that all babies are this hilarious.

VII. Sebastian. Cody. The end.

Monday, March 21, 2011

THE color.

Sorry I've been MIA lately. I was disappointed when I realized that I wasn't going to be able to make my weekly Friday Fashion/Food posts happen. I gave up the internet from 9-5 during Lent, so that + our weekend trip to Chicago made it impossible to share my latest baking endeavors and fashion spotlight with you. I will soon!

And now back to the topic at hand.

THE color.

Do you have a color that you love to wear? A color that makes you feel fabulous and just brightens your skin every time you wear it? Until today, that color was gray. Don't get the wrong idea; I still love gray. I will always love gray and feel great whenever I wear it, but even I, with my passion for a neutral palette, long to wear some color every once in a while. And today I found my color. Ann Taylor calls it Fresh Tulip. Before we headed home from Chicago, Cody and Seb dropped me off on Michigan Ave. to do some quick shopping. I bought this shirt, made the unusual choice to get 2 and neither were gray. Or black, taupe, cream, white, navy, etc.

I wore it today, and have simply loved it. I didn't tire of the hue once and will keep a weather-eye open for anything else in this color. Tell me, what is your color?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Nook—Vanilla Custard

This looks delicious. Have you ever made custard?

The Puppy Look

I've been telling a lot of my friends recently that Seb is very puppy-like at this stage. He likes to clamp clothes in his mouth and wag his head around. Shoes are also a great treat. And let's not forget the panting and tongue sticking out when he spots a toy across the room that he simply must have. I can't get over how cute it is. And look at those cheeks! I'm in love.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Italian Cruise—Part III

Love big head bands/scarves, flouncy hats, rosy makeup and versatile accessories. And never forget waterproof bandaids. Also, how to choose the right sunglasses.

See more of the Italian Cruise Project

Check out these beautiful photos from the Toast Spring 2011 Collection. This girl is the perfect summer travel muse.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I love. love. love.

Danny Kaye and Louis Armstrong make me so happy. Have you seen this video? Seb and I just watched it on this fine, sunny Saturday morning and I'm pretty sure it got us both off to a great start. Have a marvelous day!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Friday Fashion—Top Trends for 2011

According to Glamour Magazine, these are the top trends to try for 2011. What do you think? I'll be honest and admit that I'm not sold on a few (fringed bags? I have yet to see a good one), but I really like the oversize sweater, white shirt and wide leg pant looks.  Happy Friday!