Currently…

castle

loving: our finished basement!  we finally finished moving the furniture and setting things up just so – and while we still need to hang artwork throughout the house, the space is feeling ready to be lived and really, really well loved.  i’m way overdue with before and after photos (did i even remember to snap before photos?  it’s questionable) but i keep switching things up, sewing an extra throw pillow, adding one more detail.  i’m loving the sealed concrete floors with throw rugs, the bright yellow pipe against the whitest of white walls and the addition of EBN’s castle.  we brought it down from her bedroom (after doing a long overdue stuffed creature purge), added a couple of warm blankets, a special korean pillow, some twinkle lights and her much loved bunting.  a special place for a truly special little girl.

reading: i’m super late to the party on this one but i finally picked up LOVING FRANK.  while i’m enjoying parts of the story, and the history and the writing style, and i get a kick out of old oak park references (ABN grew up surrounded by frank lloyd wright homes), i can’t get over this woman leaving her children in hopes of a relationship.  i hate her.  i don’t want to hate her – but i do.  like, a lot.  i’ve found this to be true recently when reading/watching other stories of adultery.  i just can’t get over the abandonment and the idea of a mother putting her own needs so dramatically before those of her kids.  i’m not saying she should stay in an unhappy marriage.  i just can’t reconcile walking way from the kids.  leaves me feeling itchy and scratchy.

anticipating: can we just go with november?  it’s a super big, jam packed month for us.  in many ways the crazy has already started what with the inlaws visiting in 24 hour spurts for 3 weeks in a row, halloween, a visit by my parents, a family trip to disneyland, EBN’s blowout grand old flag birthday (more on that soon), thanksgiving, a left over pie party, chanukah and…when does one breathe/grow a baby?  all of these things are fun and good and full of celebration.  i’m just saying, come december 1 – we’re all going to need  a major nap.

watching: in my old age, i’ve discovered PBS.  in addition to downton i’ve gone on a CHECK, PLEASE! BAY AREA binge and now i’m watching CALL THE MIDWIFE.  you guys, it’s so good.  i’ve always had a thing for nuns (sister act) and i think i have a new thing for period dramas.  it’s smart and interesting and surprising but not solacious (says the girl who just watched 2 seasons of revenge).  if you are in the need for something new, that will keep your attention but won’t keep you up at night, i say check it out.

looking forward to: styling up EBN’s big girl room, finishing up the blanket i’ve been crocheting for her birthday, feeling more BBN2 kicks, beginning to day dream about a baby boy nursery (what?!), cheering for the red sox, a long overdue pizza lunch date, tot shabbat later this week and figuring out creative storage for toddler hair accessories – ideas welcome.

inspiration for these posts come from DANIELLE!

xo,

LBN

Recipe Night: Chopped Salad

this weekend can be wrapped up in two words – yummy food.  we ate so well (2 out of 3 times, not needing to leave our house to enjoy) and thanks go left overs, i’m still reaping the benefits.

it started with our first MUNCHERY order on friday.  i placed the order first thing in the am, moments after dropping EBN off at preschool.  while you have until 2:30pm to place a same day order, i had noticed previously that some of the options sold out as the day progressed and i wanted to make sure we got what our hearts desired.  ABN ordered a ginger carrot soup to start, followed by lamb, while i chose fresh papparadelle pasta with wild mushrooms.  the doorbell rang at promptly 5pm and our delivery included two freshly baked chocolate chip cookies to celebrate our first order (a big hit with EBN).  the entire bill, including delivery fee and tip was $35 and we both had enough leftovers to enjoy as a 2nd meal.  i can’t remember the last time we had such good take out/delivery (especially since i’m refraining from sushi these days) and there is no way the price could be better.  i’ve downloaded the app and plan to make semi-frequent use of MUNCHERY in the coming months.

saturday night, ABN’s dad was in town for 24 hours and so got a babysitter and headed down to san mateo to enjoy one of our very favorites – ALL SPICE.  from our very first visit we knew that it would be a hit with ABN’s dad who appreciates good food like no one else, and the night did not disappoint.  i enjoyed a stuffed pumpkin that was TDF to the extreme.  and i didn’t share my butter cake at the end of the meal.  not even one bite.

finally, late sunday afternoon, as EBN watched mary poppins, i found myself perusing instagram.  my brother had posted a photo of a LA SCALA PRESTO chopped salad that stopped me in my tracks.  what the what?  i know for a fact, that very salad can ONLY be procurred in LA while my brother is 3000 miles away in nyc.  someone needs to start explaining.  turns out, after some rapid text exchanging, he had stumbled upon a long lost recipe.  after sending ABN to the store to collect ingredients (do not pass go, do not collect $200), i remembered that i already had the recipe!  my parents included it in the CAN YOU MAKE IT COOKBOOK they produced as a shower gift, 6 years ago!  i’d attempted the salad once or twice before and while good – there was always something a bit off.  and all that damn chopping.  leave it to my brother to discover the secret – use your cuisinart – on the pulse setting.  the result was EVERYTHING i could have asked more and more.

RECIPE NIGHT: CHOPPED SALAD

chopped salad

serves: 6 – this is bullshit.  it serves 3…but only if you have the strength to cut yourself off

ingredients:

salad:

  • 1 head iceberg lettuce
  • 1 head romain
  • 1/4 lb of italian salami
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 15oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • grated parmesan

dressing:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 2 Tb red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated

get ready, this is the easiest and most delicious recipe…ever.

chop your lettuce in the cuisinart.  i found this works best in small batches and on the pulse setting.  anything else leaves you with a pulpy, wet mess.  next, place your salami in the cuisinart and pulse away.  add beans and mozzarella to the salad.

time to whip up your dressing.  mix all ingredients well and pour over salad.  i find that salad is best if you pour the dressing and then wait at least 15 minutes before serving.  this allows for everything to combine just perfectly.  top with additional parm.

there are many additions/variations to this recipe.  the REAL NANI always added chopped fresh tomatoes and turkey.  others have been known to opt for tuna.  but, like my EDDIE before me, i’m a purest and won’t mess with the original.  best served with warm french bread, and eaten in bed followed by ice cream and raspberries (i’ll explain that part in another post).

 

Dig, Dream, Drool

bars

i’ve been making an effort to make use of our post-nap time.  EBN is a late napper and goes to bed on the late side as well.  while our mornings are jam-packed (now with preschool in addition to other activities) i’ve struggled to figure out what to do with the time from 5pm til dinner time around 6:30.  i’m often too sleepy to nap but if i can rally, we take a walk around the neighborhood.  on mondays we’ve been meeting a friend to play on the jungle gym while her kiddo has soccer practice.  there have been underwear only popsicles parties in the backyard and pumpkin painting too.  we’re not perfect – yesterday included 45 minutes of unplanned ipad time, but we’re making progress.

i know it’s been forever since i shared a link post, but it required me to catch up on the internet.  like basically everything else in life, i’ve fallen behind.  that being said, here’s my latest attempt:

one of the mamas from EBN’s preschool class posted on facebook that she had ordered dinner from HERE.  1st, how did i not know about this? and 2nd, guess what we’re having for dinner tonight.

i don’t think i’ll feel like our house is complete until we have a GEOMETRIC GLITTER WALL.

one of my biggest pregnancy cravings this time around has been cucumbers – TZATZKI – get in my belly.

also, THESE (maybe for thanksgiving!).

how cute is THIS LAMP?  it would look great in my newly renovated basement.

speaking of crochet…i’m behind on ALL my current projects.  but, i finally found a PATTERN for a baby blanket due in january.

i just put together one of THESE for our guest-room redo.  it was the perfect finishing touch – too cute.  our first guests come this weekend and then it’s pretty non-stop through the end of november.

yep, still totally TERRIFIED.

pretty sure i need THIS.

definitely adding a few titles to my TO-READ list.

i’d love to close my eyes right now but there are 4 guys working on the house (and you thought we were done!) and so i feel like i should probably stay awake and be responsible for something.  this weekend we’ll be continuing to put the house back together and gearing up for 6 weeks of near-constant visitors.

have a great weekend

xo,

LBN

Shock and Awe

so remember a hot second ago when i shared the news of BBN2 with all y’all and assured you that just like last time, we wouldn’t be finding out in advance if the babe was going to be a boy or a girl.  well…we changed our minds.  let’s just call it parental perogative.  here’s how it went down…

basically from the moment i typed those faithful words, i’ve been itching to know.  it’s crazy because with EBN we didn’t even consider finding out and it didn’t bug me one bit.  but this time i just felt like life would be way more organized if i knew what was on its way.  as many of you know EBN has a ton of clothes (i’m talking 6+ large storage bins at this point) and while i’d hang on to them for a baby girl, i’d get rid of the majority super quickly if BBN2 had little boy parts.  obviously this could be done post-delivery, but wouldn’t it be easier to get it done…now?  and there was EBN who was certain-er than certain that the baby growing in her mama’s belly was a baby boy and than there was her mama who was almost as certain that BBN2 was bound to be a girl (i was pretty rough on my parents as a teen and rationalized that the appropriate payback would be two teenage girls who hated me…because that’s the way the world usually works).  regardless of the reasons, i went back and forth (and whined) quite a bit until ABN rationally said, “you know, we could just find out.”  sold.

so you wanna know?

while my brother rationalized that the chances was 50/50 either way, i’m still pretty shocked to share that EBN was right all along!  BBN2 is all boy (oddly, the response from many has been – awesome, now you’re done!  just to be clear – the shop was going to closed either way).  BBN2 seemed to understand that mama just needed to know because as soon as the tech put her probe on big ol’ belly he showed himself off in ALL his glory.  as if that wasn’t enough he then repeatedly pointed out his goods.

i’m pretty sure this officially means that each and every part of this pregnancy is different from the last time around: no hawaii. different doctor.  different hospital.  different cravings (as i just stuffed my face with a  handful of wasabi peas…what?!?).  and now, a boy.  let the good times roll.

 

A Bit of This and That

a photo that has nothing to do with anything...but she's cute so...

a photo that has nothing to do with anything…but she’s cute so…

i’ve been quiet for the last week plus for no other reason than i’ve been watching the first two seasons of REVENGE and i have lost my ability to multi-task.  one of the true pit-falls of giving up cable and relying on streaming tv is my ability to binge watch.  it’s definitely not healthy and according to ABN, it can be down right terrifying (i just need one more episode!, says a mildly shaking LBN).  the good news is i’m now caught up  and can move on with my life.

our house is a freaking disaster area which, for anyone who knows me, is not the norm.  it’s been that way throughout construction and not that we are done with the building stage of things, the decorating/rearranging is slow going.  mostly due to my expanding belly/lack of energy.  ABN won’t let me lift anything (somehow EBN doesn’t seem to count) and while i could spend my afternoons organizing various closets or continuing to set up our shared office, i find myself snoozing the hours away.  it’s been a truly uncomfortable and disorganized way to live – for me especially, who exists in a world in which everything has a place and where piles are mostly unacceptable.  remember, this is the girl who had the entire house unpacked, including artwork on the walls, 4 days after moving in.  i’m hoping for some major progress this weekend.  if we can get a couple more big pieces of furniture in place than i should have no excuse to spend next week unpacking.  we have our first house guests next weekend and while i know it won’t be perfect, i’d like it too be pretty close :).

add to all this the madness that is EBN’s 3rd birthday.  we’ve officially hit the 1 month countdown which means it’s time for all of us to get serious about planning her very special celebration.  the only thing my girl has asked for is a GRAND OLD FLAG party and so that is the plan.  after putting together an initial guest list that rivals my bat mitzvah, a few things have become clear.  1. girlfriend needs to stop being so damn friendly (i kid, sorta).  2. it best be sunny otherwise my house is gonna be overrun and 3. what exactly does one do at a grand old flag birthday?  i’m VERY open to suggestions.  in the meantime, i’ve created a spreadsheet to keep on track.

in the middle of writing this post, i got a call from EBN’s preschool that she was sick and crying.  by the time i got to school, a whopping 7 minutes later, she was passed out asleep on a beanbag chair, a first for EBN for sure.  she was a mess when i got her but she’s now perched in my bed, in her nightgown, happily watching halloween cartoons on the ipad.  i have no idea what’s going on.  i guess we will be laying low for the next 24 hours.

alright, i should take this opportunity to clean out a few drawers – life is exciting, i know.  i think this calls for sweatpants.

You Know You’ve Been Married 6 Years When…

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  • you happily spend your anniversary budget buying odds and ends for the playroom
  • your big date night is an hour and a half out of the house eating delicious and doesn’t-break-the-bank italian food while drinking wine by the glass
  • you “realize the dream,” established in your 1st marital apartment, of having a full wall of ikea bookshelves (photos soon – there’s still a lot of moving, decorating, unpacking to do).
  • you laugh until you cry when in the middle of a semi-serious late-night conversation (okay, it wasn’t serious, it was about someone’s innate ability to grow extremely long leg hair), someone has fallen asleep and begun to babble about something completely unrelated (you can decide WHO is WHO).
  • your big gift exchange at the end of the day, is limited to heartfelt cards
  • your parents forget that they bought you book of mormon tickets for your anniversary and so they send you a second gift – score!
  • your biggest extravagence of the day is to indulge in tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner

not sure about you, but all of the above seems pretty appropriate for 6 years.  i have a gross cold, his back is sore from moving an enormous amount of furniture.  it’s pretty insane to think about how much has changed over the last 6 years – cross-country moves, new careers, a curly haired kiddo and another one on the way, losing grandparents, buying a house, a remodel, a hot tub, a tattoo, not to mention nightly dinners, monthly bills and an endless amount of laundry.  sometimes life is a lot – a lot of running on empty.  but at the end of the day we look at each other, and our wall of bookcases, and realize we really are living our dream – together.

3 Good Things

topknot

1. we finally have a ponytail!  a real, live, stays in place, doesn’t have crazy fringe sticking out at the bottom, ponytail.  and, we seem to like it.  while EBN insists she looks just like mama when her hair is piled up on top of her head, the truth is, with her curls pulled away from her face she is looking more and more like her daddy.  it’s getting to the point of ridiculous.  i know that when EBN wears my old clothes and we place the photos side by side everyone thinks we look alike.  but let’s be honest – we’re just wearing the same clothes.  it’s a good thing she finally is letting me pull her hair back because as GORGEOUS as her curls are, she’s starting to look a bit muppet-esque.  not in a bad way, just in a floppy way :).

2. i read a book.  shocking – i know.  THE INTERESTINGS follows a group of friends who initially meet at a fine arts summer camp and as the years pass, and their lives change, their relationships change as well.  i promise that i liked this book for more than just the summer camp connection (not that it hurt).  at a time when i’m finding that many of my long-term friendships look and feel different from how they used to, the book hit a chord.  the book is long and took me a long time to get through but i think that has a lot more to do with the fact that i fall asleep after reading about 4 pages each night and way less to do with the pace.  i initially checked the book out at the library but had to return it after 3 weeks (someone had a hold on it – damn the man) and ran to the bookstore that very same day to buy a copy (that’s devotion – especially because it is only in hardback).  i have this thing that i don’t like to read my kindle when i’m pregnant…just one more weird thing.  next up?  i’m currently catching up on the last two issues of vanity fair and then…i’m open to suggestions.

3. i think i’m finally out of that, “is she pregnant, or just fat?” stage.  thank goodness.  i’m not going to lie – i have huge body image issues when i’m pregnant.  and that’s not usually my thing.  i have other issues generally.  but it’s like as soon as i’m pregnant i’m literally offended by my body.  i don’t feel like myself – inside or outside.  i know it’s annoying to talk about feeling fat when pregnant – but i can’t seem to escape it.  anyway, i things are starting find their place, or i’m getting complacent.  either way.  i went into this pregnancy thinking i wouldn’t buy any new maternity clothes – and then i dared to open my storage bin of what i saved from the last time around.  what was i thinking?  most of it was so stained and stretched out that it is simply unwearable.  since i don’t have time to shop this time around i placed a few massive online orders – ASOS, H&M, OLD NAVY and THE LOFT.  ABN has been completely overwhelmed by the boxes that have been arriving but i’ve sent (or am sending…i’m slow to get to the post office) at least 80% of it back.  i finally caved and bought 1 nice pair of jeans.  there is just nothing like a good pair of jeans.  last time around i had a pair of jeans that i wore until there was a ginormous hole in the crotch and they had to go straight into the trash.  i’m pretty sure it will be the same this time around.  i took my new jeans to the tailor yesterday – i can’t wait to get them back next week.  then i should be set.